Who Will Be King if Prince Charles Dies Before The Queen? Surprising Things That Will Happen When Prince Charles Dies

Tradition runs deep in the royal family, especially when it comes to succession. Right now, Queen Elizabeth II is the sovereign, and her eldest son, Prince Charles is the heir apparent. In other words, he holds the number one spot in line to the throne. After Prince Charles is Prince William, the Prince of Wales’ first-born, followed by Prince William’s children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. But, who will be king if Prince Charles dies before the queen?

We take a look at what will happen when Prince Charles dies — and who will be king if he goes before the queen — ahead.

Prince Charles walking outside

Many wonder who will be king if Prince Charles dies before the queen. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

What will happen when Prince Charles dies

The royal family plans for everything, including funerals. As the heir apparent, Prince Charles knows his funeral will be a monumental occasion — and has likely already planned it with palace officials. Like the queen, Charles most likely has a code name for his funeral (the queen’s code name is “Operation London Bridge”) so that the family, police, military, and political figures can keep plans hush. According to some reports, Prince Charles’ alleged code name is Operation Menai Bridge, though it has not been confirmed.

Here are some other things that will happen when Charles dies:

Moment of silence

In addition to his funeral, citizens of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries will likely observe his death with a moment of silence to honor the royal.

No laughter

Out of respect for the family, all comedy shows in England will go off the air and won’t return until the mourning period is over.

The news

When Prince Charles dies, BBC will likely be the first outlet to report his passing. However, those that are flying to and from a Commonwealth country could also hear the breaking news from their pilot. Pilots are allegedly instructed to report Queen Elizabeth II’s death mid-flight, and many speculate they would do the same for Prince Charles.

His body will lay in state

Following his death, Prince Charles’ body will lie in state until his funeral. While there is no word on how long this could be, some speculate the queen has plans to lay for 12 days, and Prince Charles could do the same.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles arrive for the formal opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at the ballroom at Buckingham Palace

If Prince Charles dies before the queen, the line of succession doesn’t change much. | Jonathan Brady/ AFP/ Getty Images

Who will be king if Prince Charles dies before the queen?

If Prince Charles dies before the queen, many speculate his brother, Prince Andrew will become king. However, that is not entirely true. While anything is possible, the line of succession won’t change should Prince Charles die before the queen. That means, Prince William will take his father’s place as heir apparent and become King of England once the queen passes or steps down from her role (another possibility, according to The Sun).

Should Prince Charles die before the queen and Prince William become the heir apparent, a few things will change. For one, the queen could name Prince William the Prince of Wales. Prince of Wales is an official royal family title that marks the ranking of an heir apparent in the royal family. However, out of respect for his father, Prince William and the queen could forgo the title change.

In addition to becoming the Prince of Wales, the heir apparent also receives a new dukedom and changes his title to the Duke of Cornwall. However, is Prince Charles dies before the queen, Prince William won’t. The Duke of Cornwall title is reserved for the monarch’s eldest son, so if Prince Charles never becomes king, Prince William won’t become Duke of Cornwall.

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