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One of the most important traits for any ruler is loyalty. When Queen Elizabeth turned 21 in 1947, she made a speech that’s still relevant today. She said, “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.” So far, she’s kept up that promise.

And now that the queen is getting older, citizens are starting to think about how the monarchy will change once she dies and Prince Charles become the king. Some more optimistic royal followers are hoping the queen will simply skip Charles in the line of succession and promote Prince William instead.

However, there’s almost no chance of that happening, no matter how unpopular the Prince of Wales is.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

People find Prince Charles to be disloyal

So far, Charles has never betrayed his country — at least not as far as they know. But he did betray someone very important who he had vowed to love and honor until death parted them.

The public fell in love with young Diana Spencer, a woman living out a real-life fairytale when she married the most eligible bachelor in Britain. There was just one problem: Prince Charles was in love with someone else the whole time, and eventually, he rekindled the physical part when he began having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles while he was still married to Princess Diana.

Most people took Diana’s side

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Charles and Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

There was nothing secret about Prince Charles’s affair. Diana knew it was going on and so did everyone else. Eventually, things got so bad between this royal couple that they formally separated, though they didn’t divorce immediately because of the royal family’s negative feelings towards broken marriages.

All along people saw Diana as an innocent victim, Camilla as an evil homewrecker, and Charles as a cruel, disloyal husband. Those feelings escalated dramatically after Diana’s tragic death in 1997. It took a long time for the Prince of Wales to rebuild his reputation after the massive scandal of his affair, and in some ways, he never did.

Will Charles be a good king?

Prince Charles
Prince Charles | Hugo Burnand/Anwar Hussein Collection/WireImage)

Prince Charles has been getting ready to take the throne for more than 70 years — he’s the longest-serving heir apparent in history. But does that mean he’ll make a good leader? There are mixed opinions on that.

Diana allegedly told her butler Paul Burrell that her husband was not “not fit for the top job.” But she had an extremely biased opinion. Charles’s popularity has gradually improved over the years and the public has even come around on Camilla, who will serve beside him now that they’re married.

Charles also has a reputation for being sensitive, stubborn, snobbish, and unwilling to entertain opinions different from his own.

Tradition is more important than popularity in the line of succession

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if Charles is popular or not — as the heir apparent, there’s not much that could keep him from becoming the reigning monarch.

One thing Charles has going for him is his work ethic. He does an extraordinary number of royal engagements and visits, which is a huge part of the role of reigning monarch. Based on these actions alone, he’s going to fill the role his mother paved brilliantly.

It’s true that Prince Charles cheated on Diana. But there’s almost no chance he would betray his country in that way.