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Who will be the next ruler of England? Prince Charles may be next in line, but some experts question if he’ll rule for very long. Let’s see what is going on.

Prince Charles is In Line

The rules of succession are dictated by both common law and parliament. Both name Prince Charles as the heir apparent. He’s waited longer to become king than anyone ever has, and if he’s anything like his mother, then he’ll serve for the remainder of his life once he’s coronated.

He May Be Forced Out

Or so we’ve been led to believe. Royal author Anna Pasternak spoke to Vanity Fair about another path. She said, in the wake of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to leave for the United States, “I’m not 100 percent sure that we will see Charles ascend to the throne.”

Pasternak thinks the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have opened pandora’s box by criticizing the royal family: “The Sussexes have sparked something so fundamentally incendiary in this country that it is changing the face of Britain, and I think the monarchy as an archaic institution may well topple.”

William has popularity and momentum on his side. While Charles shunning the throne feels unthinkable, it may be for the royal family’s own good. Pasternak explains, “it may be that there is such a groundswell of public opinion against [Charles] that it’s deemed by the firm preferable for William to ascend then because he’s younger, more relatable.” 

William consistently gets higher approval numbers than Charles. No royal has a higher level of popularity than Elizabeth, however, so her death could bring doom and gloom for the palace’s future. Could William hold the nation together? Who can say?

Others Chime In

Meanwhile, former Parliament member Diane Abbott said, “I think the monarchy as we know it will last as long as the queen is alive.” She expects a major public debate over the royal family and says the institution will ultimately lose a lot of its pomp and circumstance.

British historian, Martin Wiener, thinks Charles could bring about the end of the British empire. He foresees member states dropping out of the commonwealth: “It’d be like, ‘Who wants Charles to be our head? We’re stuck with Charles.”

Questions of succession dominate tabloid covers, and have for years now. There are legitimate reasons to think Charles is not the best future for the future of the monarchy, but he’s still going to be King. it’s his birthright, and he would need the permission of Parliament to step aside. Even if William did take charge, as Pasternak suggests, it wouldn’t be until Charles relinquishes the reigns. We’re not holding our breath.

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