Is it Possible for Prince George to Rule as a Child?

Right now, Queen Elizabeth II is the current ruler of the all British commonwealths. But once she sends the throne on to Prince Charles, he will become king, followed by Prince William, then Prince George. However, there is always a chance the unthinkable could happen: What if Prince Charles and Prince William died? Surely, George is too young to rule. Here’s how the royal family works around deaths.

Prince George
Can Prince George rule as a child? | Richard Pohle/AFP/Getty Images

Nobody wants to think about death, but it is something the royal family needs to take into account

As arguably the most important family in the world, death is one of those things the royal family must plan for, regardless of how little anybody wants to think about it. The truth is tragedies do happen, and the royal family does have a plan in place. When Will and Prince Harry were growing up (before they got married and there were kids in the picture, the young men were second and third in line), they never all flew on the same aircraft as Charles. This was one of those unofficial royal rules in case anything ever happened to the plane. But there are more royal rules in place than just that.

In short, it’s not possible for George to rule as a child

The easiest way to put it is that George will never rule as a child. In 1937, the Regency Act of 1937 was put into place, which said that a minor could never rule should anything happen to make them the next in line. Instead, a “regent” would take the place of the minor, which means someone else would make decisions on behalf of the monarchy until the minor could rule on his or her 18th birthday. So if the queen passed away tomorrow, then something tragic happened to William and Charles, George would still need to wait another 14 years to take the throne.

There’s a good chance Prince Harry would ‘rule’ until George’s 18th birthday

The most likely regent, should anything happen to Charles and William, would be Harry. The regent must be in line for throne already, be over 21, and live in England. Harry meets all of those requirements. It’s unclear if Harry would be able to say no to being a regent if he didn’t want to be the decision-maker, but he likely would take the regency position regardless, since obviously a tragedy such as that would already have put the royal family in so much turmoil; he likely wouldn’t want to add to it.

If Harry was deemed unfit, it would likely go to Prince Andrew

If, for some reason, Harry was deemed unfit to rule or simply refused to become regent (if that’s even allowed), Prince Andrew would probably take over. He is currently next in line for the throne behind Harry, so he would be the best fit for the position. The royal family needs to have rules like these in place because as rare as that sort of tragedy may be, it’s not impossible.

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