Could Kate Middleton become Queen before Camilla Parker Bowles? Plus, will Camilla be Queen at all or what will her title be? We answer those questions about royal succession below…
When Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, passes away, chooses to retire (unlikely!) or abdicates the throne (even more unlikely!), it is her son Prince Charles, who will take over the Monarchy because he is second in line to the throne.
However, there are a few scenarios in which that wouldn’t be the case. So what does that mean for whether Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall will become Queen? Plus, with royal experts revealing that Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, is already preparing to become Queen, does that mean that Kate Middleton could become Queen before Camilla Parker Bowles?
Let’s take a look…
Who will be the next Queen?
According to reports in some magazines, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall are “battling it out” as to who will be next to support the King as Queen Elizabeth II’s reign nears its end. But this isn’t true. The real answer to ‘who will be the next Queen’ is technically neither Camilla OR Kate. Here’s why…
If Prince Charles is King, will Camilla be Queen?
Although Charles, the Prince of Wales, is presently heir to the throne, his wife Camilla will not be Queen when he becomes King. This is because if and when Charles becomes the King, the Duchess of Cornwall will take on the role of ‘Princess Consort’.
A Queen can be a Queen Consort (married to a King), a Queen Regnant (reigning in her own right) or a Queen Dowager (mother of the reigning Monarch).
Although technically Camilla should be Queen Consort when Charles succeeds his mother and becomes King, the couple have decided against that title.
Clarence House has previously confirmed that Camilla will not take on the title of Queen Consort and instead will be known as Princess Consort.
This change was agreed at the time Charles and Camilla married in 2005 due to the controversial nature of their relationship following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
At statement released by Clarence House this year said: “The intention is for the Duchess to be known as Princess Consort when the Prince accedes to the throne. This was announced at the time of the marriage and there has been absolutely no change at all.”
Could Prince William be the next King?
Prince William could only become King if Prince Charles chose to abdicate. The line of succession to the throne is regulated by Parliament and cannot be altered by the monarchy.
The only other scenario in which The Duke of Cambridge could become King when the Queen dies is if his father, Charles – who is 71 – died before the Queen.
Could Kate Middleton become Queen before Camilla?
The answer to this is ‘kind of’! If Charles dies before the Queen, then his son Prince William would become King of England when the Queen dies. If this were to happen then Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, would become take on a role similar to that of a Queen before Camilla.
However, as Kate would be married to a King rather than reigning in her own right, she won’t become Queen in the same way that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is. Once Prince William takes the throne and becomes the King of England, Kate will then become Queen Consort.
Who is next in line to the British throne after Charles and William?
After Prince Charles and Prince William, it is the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s eldest son, Prince George, who is next in line to the throne.
If, when the time comes, Prince George decides he does not want to be King and abdicates, then his sister, Princess Charlotte would take his place on the throne become Queen. In this scenario, Princess Charlotte would be ‘the next Queen’ of England, reigning in her own right just like her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Has anyone ever abdicated from the throne before?
Most famously, Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936 after ruling for less than one year. He became the first English monarch to abdicate after the British government and the Church of England condemned his decision to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
Announcing his decision, he said, “I have found it impossible to carry on the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge the duties of king, as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love.”
A day later, on 12 December, his younger brother was crowned King George VI.