Why Prince Charles Could Be the Last Prince of Wales

Prince Charles is currently the Prince of Wales, a title he’s held for decades. Many royal fans assume that when he ascends the throne that title will automatically pass to his oldest son Prince William, however, that’s not how it works.

Read on to find out why Charles may be the last Prince of Wales.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles | Tim P. Whitby – WPA Pool/Getty Images

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When Prince Charles became the Prince of Wales

Prince Charles has many titles including Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Lord of the Isles, Baron of Renfrew and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. But the one most people are familiar with is the Prince of Wales.

Charles became the Prince of Wales in 1958 when he was just 9 years old. However, his investiture was not held until 1969 when he was 20. The ceremony was a televised affair that took place at Caernarfon Castle in northwest Wales.

According to the heir apparent’s official website, “The title was recreated in 1301 for Edward of Caernarfon, the future Edward II. It was the first time the eldest son of the King of England was invested as Prince of Wales, making Edward II the first of the current line of Princes of Wales, of which His Royal Highness is the 21st.”

Before Prince Charles, his great uncle Edward VIII had the regal title. It has belonged to Charles now for more than half a century but he won’t keep it when he ascends the throne. The big question is: Will anyone?

 Prince Charles kneels before Queen Elizabeth as she crowns him Prince of Wales
Prince Charles kneels before Queen Elizabeth as she crowns him Prince of Wales | Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

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Why Prince William might not get the title

Prince William and Prince Charles
Prince William and Prince Charles | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

If you’re thinking that Prince William will be the next Prince of Wales once his father is the king, that’s not a guarantee because there is no automatic succession to that particular title. However, as The Express noted, over the years most sovereigns have opted to give the honor to their eldest son.

YouGov and ITV Wales recently conducted a poll of more than 1,000 members of the Welsh public about what they believe should be done with the title. The results found that 57% of respondents felt that it should go to Prince William, while 22% of those who participated said that it should be left vacant or abolished.

Ultimately, it will be up to Charles to decide if he wants to grant his son the title when he’s king. Most expect him to do so but even if he doesn’t, that won’t change anything for William. Whether or not the Duke of Cambridge is granted the Prince of Wales title won’t change the fact that he will move up in the line of succession to one day become the monarch himself.

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