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No one in the world knows the exact date that Prince William will become the King of England. But even though this fact can’t be known right now, royal family fans are still obsessed with planning for it. Maybe that’s why Prince Charles is rumored to be a tad bit jealous of his younger, more handsome son – because people are perfectly content to skip right over Charles in their plans for England’s future.

It can be a tricky thing thinking about the line of succession. On one hand, most of the country loves Queen Elizabeth and would happily see her reign last for many more years. But on the other, most people are realistic about what’s coming next. Queen Elizabeth may have good genes, but she won’t live forever.

Prince William
Prince William | Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images

What will happen when Queen Elizabeth dies?

It’s morbid, yet necessary, to think about: when the Queen passes away, a highly orchestrated series of events will kick into motion. There will be a huge funeral and mourning across the nation. But most importantly, her death will mean that Prince Charles assumes the throne.

Once Prince Charles becomes King Charles (or likely some other name he chooses), Prince William will probably get a new title, too. The next person in line for the throne – in this case, Prince William — is usually called the Prince of Wales. Queen Elizabeth’s death won’t make Prince William the king. But it will put him one step closer.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Chris Jackson / Getty Images for St James’s Palace

How long will Prince Charles be king?

The thing about the British monarchy is that it’s a role that’s served for life. In Prince Charles’ case, his reign will most definitely be shorter than his mother’s because he’s already in his 70s now. In fact, he’ll be the oldest monarch to become one in British history when it does happen. But assuming Prince Charles doesn’t voluntarily relinquish his duties due to failing health or other issues, he’ll be on the throne for many years to come.

 There’s been much speculation over whether Queen Elizabeth could skip over Prince Charles and just give the throne to Prince William. It’s possible, but is very, very, very unlikely to happen. The British line of succession is one tradition that probably won’t change – and especially not just over matters of popularity.

The Duke of Cambridge
Prince William | Daniel Leal-Olivas – WPA Pool/Getty Images

How old will Prince William be when he becomes king?

Prince William is only 36 right now. If his father Prince Charles serves as king for 20 years until he’s 90, then Prince William will only be 56 when he becomes the king. And some royal family fans believe it could happen even sooner than that. Since Prince Charles is enjoying his life so much now, he may not be as keen to take on all the duties of running a country. It’s entirely possible that Prince Charles chooses early retirement and lets his son take over early.

For now, no one knows what will happen. However, unless he makes a wild change of course in his life, Prince William will become the king at a fairly young age. And the people can’t wait.