Queen Elizabeth has been absent from the public eye frequently in recent times, sparking concern among the masses regarding her health. It also brings to question as to who would carry on the name of the royal family when her reign ends.
Even though there has not been a formal announcement regarding a serious illness of Queen Elizabeth from the Buckingham Palace, this is the first time the British monarch missed the traditional Christmas Day church service.
She went on to skip the New Year’s Day service at Sandringham, too. She is already the oldest surviving British monarch, at 90 years. It is only natural for people to ponder about who is next in line of succession.
The Line Of Succession
The list of succession, which was drafted in accordance to the Act of Settlement of 1701, has been collecting dust since Queen Elizabeth succeeded her father, King George VI in 1952, reported the International Business Times.
The purpose of the list is to ensure that regardless of the scale of tragedy that befalls the royal family, the throne would never stay empty. This is vital to the constitution of the country, since the monarch is also the Head of the Church of England.
So when the time comes when Queen Elizabeth II is no longer able to perform her royal duties, Prince Charles, the first-born son, will take up the reins.
Prince Charles, at 68 years, is already the oldest monarch to ever start his rule. Prince William, the first-born son of Prince Charles, is third in line for succession. And since he has already produced three legitimate heirs, there should be no issues in the continuation of British rule.
Why Prince Charles Might Not Become King
However, there have been rumors that Prince Charles might be forced by Queen Elizabeth to abdicate his right to the throne. This is due to his marriage to a divorced lady, Camilla, after the death of his first wife, Princess Diana.
There is also the matter of Kate Middleton, Prince William’s wife, being more adored by the British public than Camilla.
Prince Charles’ situation has been equated with that of Queen Elizabeth II’s uncle, Edward VIII’s crisis. The latter was forced to abdicate when he decided to marry Wallis Simpson, a divorced American.
However, times have changed. There has been no indication from the Royal Family to suggest that Prince Charles is unfit to become king.
Royal expert Phil Dampier told International Business Times UK, “It is a nonstarter. Charles has waited to be king since he was a young boy so he would hardly give up the throne now.”
So for now, it seems like there are no surprises in store when it comes to the line of succession of the British throne.