Will Queen Elizabeth II Be the Last British Monarch? Here’s What Will Happen When Her Majesty Dies

There are a lot of questions about what will happen when the queen dies, including “Will Queen Elizabeth II be the last British monarch?” With centuries of reign, it’s hard to imagine the world without the British royal family. And while the family isn’t going anywhere, the monarchy could change drastically after Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip | Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)

Up ahead, we take a look at the changes coming to the British monarchy.

Mourning period

As the longest reigning — and one of the most well-liked — monarchs, Queen Elizabeth’s passing will come with deep sadness for British citizens and people all around the world. As a result, a 12-day (or longer) morning period will take place.

The national anthem will change

Following the queen’s passing, there will be a new monarch (a king!) which means the British national anthem will change from “God Save the Queen” to “God Save the King.”

Prince Charles will ascend the throne

As of right now, Prince Charles is the heir apparent, which means he will automatically ascend the throne when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II passes. Following his ascension, Prince Charles will have a declaration. A declaration is a formal meeting with the accession council (which consists of Privy Councillors, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, several High Commissioners, and other important figures) at St James’s Palace to officially mark the reign of a monarch before his or her coronation.

The monarchy could come under scrutiny

After the queen dies, the monarchy could come under scrutiny. However, it won’t have anything to do with her passing. Historically, whenever there is a transition, the monarchy could come under scrutiny. And while it might not mean the end of the monarchy, it could mean some changes.

Will Queen Elizabeth II Be the Last British Monarch?

While anything is possible, historians say Queen Elizabeth II won’t be the last British monarch. However, there will probably never be another monarch like Her Majesty. As the longest reigning monarch, she has won the hearts of British citizens, as well as people around the globe. Because of her popularity, support of the monarchy and royal family, in general, is considered safe.

With that said, after she dies, Prince Charles will become king and the fate of the monarchy lies in his performance as king. If British citizens don’t like how he handles his responsibilities, they could very well turn against the monarchy and demand a change. But, for now, citizens are on board with the heir apparent (which wasn’t always the case) and aren’t pining for anything drastic like the end of the monarchy.

The sovereign may not be official

While Queen Elizabeth II probably won’t be the last British monarch, she could be the last real sovereign. Following the queen’s passing, Prince Charles will meet with the accession council at St James’s Palace to mark the official reign. That said, the council is not required to make Prince Charles an official monarch. As a result, he would still become the King of England, but won’t have similar powers that the queen currently has.

The queen currently plays a ceremonial role in parliament and every law passed through the government must have her stamp of approval. While the new monarch could still meet with world leaders and parliament, British laws may no longer need the monarch’s signature.

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