As the heir apparent, it has been assumed that Prince Charles would eventually become king. But it still came as a shock when Queen Elizabeth publicly backed her son as the future leader of the Commonwealth nations. And, frankly, there are many people that are a bit sad as it becomes more of a reality. (Find out why on page 4.)
First up, the queen’s statement
Queen Elizabeth made her announcement to the Commonwealth Heads of Government, formally asking them to recognize Prince Charles as her successor. “It is my sincere wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations and will decide that one day the Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949,” she said.
Next: Of course, this has everyone wondering …
Does this mean she’s abdicating?
There has been no definitive answer as to whether Queen Elizabeth plans to abdicate the throne. However, other members of the royal family have been taking on more duties for the 92-year-old monarch in recent time. Since the queen’s husband, Prince Phillip, has already stepped away from public duties, many think she will do the same.
Next: One reason this makes many people a little sad …
It’s the end of an era
Queen Elizabeth has been a figurehead for so long, it’s hard to imagine anyone else wearing the crown. it’s a stark contrast to the U.S. which has seen 12 different presidents during her 65 year reign. Even as she has handed her duties off to the rest of the family, it’s hard to imagine her taking a back seat.
Next: But here’s the main reason people aren’t too thrilled …
Prince Charles’ approval rating
Prince Charles’ approval numbers have never been particularly high. In fact, he hasn’t really been seen in a positive light since his first wife, Princess Diana, tragically died in 1997. The public has in recent years become much more fond of his eldest son Prince William, who has taken on many of Queen Elizabeth’s royal duties. (More on him on page 7.)
Why his siblings may be displeased
The Prince of Wales wants to tailor the inner family to fit the “firm” role that Prince Phillip has always endorsed. (Surprising, since Charles and his father have never gotten along well.) This means that only him and his son’s families will be given “the royal treatment.” This is something that Charles’ siblings have fought him on for years — to the point that they don’t want him to be king.
Next: And if Charles becomes king …
What this means for Camilla
Yes, if Prince Charles becomes king, his wife Camilla will become queen. The Duchess of Cornwall’s approval has been low since she was Charles’ mistress while he was still married to Princess Diana. There has been speculation that Camilla has been divisive in trying to become queen, but those could just be rumors.
Next: And finally …
What about Prince William?
Prince William has already taken on many royal duties as the second in line for the throne. He already goes on foreign tours on behalf of his grandmother the queen, and will likely do even more when his father becomes king. He remains a heavy favorite over his father to lead the Commonwealth — something that will likely haunt both of them when Elizabeth is no longer queen.
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