How Will Prince William Become King?

Prince William is second in the line of succession to the British throne, and the world has watched as he grew from a young boy into the father and husband he is today. He also already shows great promise as future King of England, but exactly what must happen for this to occur?

Prince William as a child
Prince William started training for king at a young age | Tim Graham/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth has already begun training Prince William

Chances are high that Prince William will not be king for a good number of years, considering just how much must happen in order for him to ascend the throne. But the good news is that he will be ready when it comes, because the longest-reigning (and arguably, most beloved) monarch of all time has been gently grooming him. Of course, we’re speaking of Prince William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.

Historian Robert Lacey spoke about the close relationship that Prince William shares with his grandmother in a cover story for People. “There has always been a special closeness between William and the Queen, and she has taken a particular interest in him. It’s no secret that she and Charles have had a prickly relationship at times.”

Lacey went on to add that, “When William became a teenager, she would have him at Windsor Castle and would open the state boxes and guide him through the papers. It was William’s constitutional education.”

Prince William salutes
Prince William salutes | Tim Graham/Getty Images

The first thing that would happen is Queen Elizabeth’s death

The first step on Prince William’s ascension to the throne would be the unfortunate death of his grandmother. That, or she would have to abdicate the throne – which those near to her have stated she will never do. This would make Prince Charles the new King of England, and Prince William would be the next heir to the throne, followed by Prince William’s eldest son, Prince George.

Also at this point, Prince William would become the Duke of Cornwall and eventually the Prince of Wales once his father grants him the title. When Prince Charles awards Prince William the title of Prince of Wales, William’s family could change their name from Cambridge to Wales.

As the official heir to the throne, Prince William would have significantly more royal duties than he does in his current position. Since he has been noted as going beyond what is expected of his current titles, however, this should not be difficult for him. 

The second thing would be Prince Charles’ death

Prince William and his father
Prince Charles and Prince William | Matt Dunham – WPA Pool/Getty Images

In a final step towards succession, Prince William’s father would then have to die, or abdicate the throne. Since he has yet to take the throne, nobody can say for sure if he will decide to step down in his old age or not. Considering his mother’s example, many would assume that he would not choose to do so.

When the unfortunate day comes that both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles have passed away, Prince William will then automatically inherit the throne. His eldest son, Prince George, would then become heir to the throne. 

It’s a long time coming

Despite being 92 years of age, Queen Elizabeth still appears to be in good health and may have a good few years of being queen left in her. Prince Charles is also in good health, and so the world can assume that he would likely sit on the throne for quite some time … not as much time as his mother, of course, who holds the title of the longest reigning British monarch.

This being said, Prince William could possibly still have as many as 20 to 30 years left to train in the right ways to run a kingdom. Unless, of course, some rumors are true and Prince Charles decides to pass the throne down to his son so the younger generation can rule.