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Who will Succeed Queen Elizabeth II?
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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.

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Recently Posted Comments
Date: 31 March, 2014
Posted by: Mark
Comment: Parliament? That is really a joke because if anyone bothers to really look at legal matters of UK, the Queen can in fact dismiss Parliament, fire them all on the spot and take full power if she WANTED to do so. She won't but she can. That said, if she wanted to skip a generation and give it to William she would tell Parliament in private do it or you are fired! They would do it of course but W/O such a big thing as that, they should go by what they people want which is for William to be King. Most do not want Charles as King. The reality of what will happen is Charles will become King for perhaps up to ten years then William will be. The Queen could tell Charles in advance to step down as King after a short time and that would give it to William fast and look more legal to those who do not understand UK real laws which most in UK do not let alone those in States. Elizabeth can do what she wants. She could have all of Parliament sent to the Towers and go back to ways her QE1 if she wanted.
Date: 6 August, 2013
Posted by: kirschneromorobacyril
Comment: I like your law, but would have been for the wife of the prince to also be the Queen when the husband becomes the king.
Date: 30 July, 2013
Posted by: JP
Comment: Since Prince Charles married a divorcee he should be ousted from the lineage to the throne. JP
Date: 6 February, 2013
Posted by: Paradise
Comment: Please I need more explanation about the right of succession in the queen-ship/kingship of England.
Date: 29 January, 2013
Posted by: Mark Calvert
Comment: Clearly written by an American with no understanding of British Constitutional law - this article is poorly researched and in many aspects is plain inaccurate. Suggest if you know so little about a foreign country's constitution, then best not write about it pretending you do
Date: 2 June, 2012
Posted by: Betty Gentile
Comment: Very well described from an historical perspective.
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