All the Ways the British Monarchy Will Change After the Queen Dies

As the last real monarch, Queen Elizabeth II has more power, respect and influence than any of her successors. And although there will still be a British royal family, the monarchy will see significant changes once she dies.

See all the ways the British Monarchy will change after the queen dies, ahead.

1. Prince Charles will become king

Prince Charles of Wales
Prince Charles doesn’t have to become King Charles. | Carl Court/Getty Images

At the time of her death, Prince Charles will automatically ascend the throne. That said, he may not be called King Charles. When a monarch ascends the throne, the new king or queen can pick a regnal name, which is either their first name or any of their middle or Christian names.

If Prince Charles wants to change his name, he could become King George, King Arthur, or King Philip, as his full name is Charles Philip Arthur George.

2. The sovereign may not be ‘official’

The council needs to decide whether Charles will become king. | Abdelhak Senna/AFP/Getty Images

While Prince Charles will automatically become sovereign at the time of his mother’s death, he may not become official … even after his formal declaration.

Once the queen passes, an Accession Council will take place at St. James Palace. That said, at the time of his formal declaration, the council — which consists of Privy Councillors, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, several High Commissioners, and other important figures — is not required to make Prince Charles an official monarch.

3. The monarchy will lose some of its power

Queen Elizabeth Meets Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key At Windsor Castle
She frequently meets with world leaders. | Steve Parsons/Getty Images

If Prince Charles doesn’t become official, the monarchy could lose a majority of its power. Right now, the queen has a ceremonial role in parliament and every law must has her stamp of approval. She also meets with world leaders and the Prime Minister regularly.

While meeting with world leaders and the Prime Minister may continue on after the queen’s death, British laws may no longer need a monarch’s stamp of approval.

4. Britain could become a republic

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and her husband Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meet children as they arrive to attend the Children's Global Media Summi
They’re a bit of a national (and international) obsession. | Eddie Mulholland/AFP/Getty Images

With the monarchy’s loss of power and the sovereign’s unofficial role, Britain could cut ties with the royal family and become a republic. That said, British citizens are very fond of the royal family and it is unlikely that an extremity like this will take place.

5. The queen will no longer be the face of the British pound

Prince Charles has already had his photo taken. | Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

As soon as the queen passes, a change of currency will occur. And instead of her portrait, the new sovereign’s portrait will be printed on bills and coins. In fact, in preparation for her death, Prince Charles has already had portraits taken for the British pound.

6. Commonwealth may cease to exist

She is officially the head of 52 countries. | John Stillwell-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Another change to the British monarchy? Commonwealth may cease to exist. Made up of 52 countries that were once British territories, the Commonwealth of nations recognizes the British monarch as official Head of State.

While Commonwealth is more about symbolism than power (although, the monarch does have some power in these countries), many — if not, all — of these countries may choose to sever ties with the British monarchy once and for all once the queen passes.

7. The monarchy won’t see another queen

the british royal family in formal dress at a state function
The likely future heirs are all male. | Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

Although they exist, queens are rare in the British royal family. And with Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George next in line to the British throne, it is unlikely that the monarchy will see another queen in this lifetime.

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