Queen Elizabeth II has been crowned since 1952 after the death of her father, King George VI. However, Queen Elizabeth’s ascent to the throne didn’t come about in a traditional way. Her Uncle, Kind Edward VIII, who was the elder son of King George V and Queen Mary, made the decision to abduct the throne only 326 days after becoming the king in 1936. He was succeeded by his younger brother, King George VI.
Because her father had been in poor health for quite some time, Elizabeth had already taken over some of his royal duties. But his death meant that, at age 25, she would officially become queen. King Edward never had children, so Queen Elizabeth would have still inherited the throne even if King Edward had not abdicated. However, it would have occurred two decades later since King Edward outlived his brother King George VI and died in 1972.
Heir to Throne – Explained
Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, have four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. Prince Charles is first in line for the throne and it’s expected that he will become king when his mother dies.
Prince Philip’s recent death didn’t have any impact on the line of succession. Because as a Prince Consort, Prince Philip was never in the line of succession.
Now the question is, What if in the unlikely event that Prince Charles dies before Queen Elizabeth, the line of succession won’t change. Prince William, the elder son of Prince Charles is the second in line to the throne, will become the King after the death of Queen Elizabeth II or she stepped down as a Queen.
There is one possibility is that after the death of Prince Charles Prince William will be named Prince of Wales. The royal title signifies that a person is heir apparent. However, Queen Elizabeth and Prince William could choose to not change his title to Prince of Wales as a gesture of deference to Prince Charles.
Robert Hazell, professor of government and the constitution at the University College London, summed it all up to Insider, saying,
“[D]uring William’s lifetime, he will almost certainly see his father become king. Only if Charles dies before the queen would William become king when the queen dies.”
If things progress as expected, Queen Elizabeth will predecease Prince Charles, and he’ll become king. Prince William will then take the throne when his father dies or steps down. So unless he dies before his father, Prince William will become king.
What If Prince William Dies Before Prince Charles
The line of succession also makes clear what would happen if Prince William dies before his father.
Hazell told the outlet:
“If William were to die before Charles, then on the death of Charles, Prince George would become king.”
Following Prince George in the line of succession are his siblings: Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Prior to 2015, Prince Louis would have overtaken his older sister in the line of succession because of his gender. However, the Succession to the Crown Act has gone into effect, and it states that gender won’t affect a royal’s place in the line of succession.
As a result, Princess Charlotte officially made history when her little brother was born in 2018.
Prince Harry Will Become King
Prince Harry is sixth in line for the throne – he has not requested recusal of his spot in line. Next, after him is Archie, his and Meghan’s son. So even if he had remained fully involved in royal life, it’s highly unlikely Harry would have ever come close to becoming king.