1 Jun 2012 02:22 PM EST
-by Molly C. Braswell, Staff Writer; Image: Queen Elizabeth II (Image Source: The Star)
For years, the royal rumor has been that the monarchy will skip the heir apparent, Prince Charles, son of Queen Elizabeth II, and directly name Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, King of England.
The U.K. Parliament statute regulates the line of succession to the British throne. The basis for these laws is the Bill of Rights (1689) and the Act of Settlement (1701). Under it, Queen Elizabeth II has no right to choose her successor.
Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has no right to the throne because he married into the family, even though he has royal blood.
Unless Parliament changes the law, Prince Charles will be King when his mother abdicates the throne or dies; however, since he married a divorced woman, he traditionally gave up the right to be the next King, but no law actually states that. Technicality, when Parliament and the Church of England approved that marriage, they also approved the right for him to succeed Queen Elizabeth.
Prince Charles’ wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles will never become Queen. When Prince Charles becomes King, she will be known as the “Queen Consort,” but she would fulfill the Queen’s duties as the wife of King Charles. Actually, she may choose to be known as the Queen Consort or the Duchess of Lancaster, since Prince Charles will, as King, have the royal title of Prince of Lancaster. In fact, when Prince Charles dies, Duchess Camilla will no longer be tied to the royal family in any way and will lose all her titles, responsibilities and any ties to the royal family, since they had no children.
If Charles was to die or abdicate the throne prior to his death, Prince William would become King and Duchess Catherine would become the Queen Consort. If Prince William died, Duchess Catherine, like Duchess Camilla, would lose her royal titles, responsibilities and any ties to the royal family, unless they had a child. That child will keep her tied to the royal family.
No minimum age exists for someone to be crowned King or Queen of England.
In October 2011, Commonwealth leaders unanimously passed an amendment that states the first child of the King and Queen, regardless of gender, is next in line for the throne.
Since he is third in line to the throne, Prince Harry is the heir presumptive and would become King of England if Prince William and Duchess Katherine did not produce an heir apparent.
Rounding out the current top five in line for the throne are Prince Andrew Duke of York, the second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II, and Princess Beatrice of York, the eldest child of Prince Andrew.