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What Will Happen If (Or When) Prince Charles Assumes The Throne?

Updated December 18, 2020 102.1k views12 items

What will happen in the UK when Charles is crowned king? The next British monarch will bring major changes to the country, which hasn't seen a new ruler since 1953. That year, Queen Elizabeth II officially ascended to the throne after her father, King George VI, passed in 1952. Since then, she's become England's longest-ruling monarch - and Charles has become the oldest heir to the throne. 

When Queen Elizabeth passes, Charles will instantly become the king, and his new duties will start immediately. On the evening of Queen Elizabeth's passing, her son will address the nation and then tour the country. A top-secret plan for Charles's coronation will also go into effect. The entire British royal family will see big changes, including new titles, new land holdings, and a new line of succession.

But will Charles adopt the name King Charles III or take a new royal name? Will Camilla be queen? Will Kate step into Diana's shoes as the new Princess of Wales? There's a lot to learn about what will happen when Charles becomes king.

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  • He Could Step Aside For William - But Don't Bet On It

    According to the 1701 Act of Settlement, a British monarch's heir will be their direct successor. That means when Elizabeth passes, Charles becomes king immediately. But could the line of succession skip Charles so that Prince William becomes king instead? While the idea has been tabloid fodder for years, it's extremely unlikely.

    As Majesty magazine editor Ingrid Seward said in People magazine: 

    It’s not a job like being a truck driver. We have an inherited monarchy and it passes from generation to generation and you have no choice in the matter. It passes down through the generations - only stalled by death. It is the natural order of things.

    Could Elizabeth declare William her successor, skipping over Charles? Seward explains: "The Queen herself doesn’t have the power to make those sort of decisions."

  • Prince William Will Become The Prince Of Wales

    With Charles's ascension to the throne, his children's titles will change as well. Prince William will still be the Duke of Cambridge, but he'll add the title Prince of Wales. He may also inherit the Duchy of Cornwall, currently managed by Prince Charles and valued at $1.2 billion. 

    As for William and Kate's children, their spot in the line of succession will also change. George will move to second in line, followed by Charlotte, thanks to the 2011 amendment to the Act of Settlement. The change places children in order by birth, regardless of gender, so Prince Louis will not move ahead of Charlotte in the line.

     

  • Kate Might Take Diana's Title - Or Retire It Out Of Respect

    Dating back to the 1200s, the English king's heir has held the title Prince of Wales, and his wife has been the Princess of Wales.

    Princess Diana made the title famous. As a respectful gesture, Charles's wife, Camilla, does not use the title herself. But will Kate Middleton take it on? When Charles becomes king, he will grant the title Prince of Wales to William. Kate could choose to retire the moniker out of respect for Diana. In that case, Kate would be known as the Duchess of Cambridge until William becomes king, at which point she would be Queen Consort.

    Most, however, believe Kate will adopt the Princess of Wales title to carry on Diana's legacy.

  • Camilla Will Become Queen Consort

    When Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles married in 2005, only 7 percent of British citizens approved of her taking the title of queen upon Charles's eventual coronation. In response, Charles announced that at his ascension, Camilla would take a different title: Princess Consort. The new title, created just for Camilla, was intended to avoid PR problems resulting from Camilla's unpopularity.

    Since then, Camilla's popularity has soared. Some people now think Camilla will be known officially as Queen Consort when Charles is king. This is the standard moniker for non-blood royal spouses of a king.