As the number of ‘Will & Kate’ fans increases and the number of enthusiastic ‘Charlie’ supporters maintains a somewhat lower score, the question is frequently posed: could Prince Charles be skipped and place William as the next King? In this special article this week, we take a look at the position of the constitution and other things that can help us answer that question.
Firstly, let’s take a look at the meaning of Monarchy. Monarchy provides a stable and non-partisan head of state who can act as a political arbitrator and ceremonial figurehead, representing the embodiment of a country. The opposite of Monarchy is a Republic. Whereas some people maylike to see a republican Great Britain, Royalists and Monarchists themselves aren’t doing many favours for the system.
The very notion that we can cherry-pick our next Monarch defeats the entire system of Monarchy, and would lead the country to being a borderline republic. Such as the principle of Monarchy, one doesn’t always get exactly who one may want. However, there are benefits to this. In the case of Prince William and Prince Charles, this gives Prince William more time to prepare and to enjoy a quieter life before the duty (as it one day will) falls on him.
Prince Charles has prepared for his entire life to be King, for over 60 years, he has learned the tricks of the trade from his mother, The Queen – to deny him of his chance to reign is foolish.
Now let’s look constitutionally. Is there a mechanism for royals to be skipped in certain circumstances?… Well, no. Again, this falls down to the principle of Monarchy. The line of succession determines whom the crown falls to next. This line runs to thousands of places, but only the first few in line ever have a realistic prospect of acceding.
The device for the succession of the crown states that the first person in line always succeeds. So the only way to make Prince William King would be for Charles to either pre-decease The Queen, which would place William first in line, or to accede and then abdicate – an almost inconceivable notion.
Now, if you’re still not convinced that Prince Charles couldn’t/shouldn’t be skipped, stop and think a second. Why exactly should Charles not reign. Just because he may not carry the same glamour and popularity as William, it doesn’t mean he wouldn’t make a good King. There have been many Sovereigns in the past that may not have commanded the same popularity as those further down the line that have proven to be some of Britain’s greatest Monarchs.
Whilst it will be William’s turn one day, for now we must expect to say ‘Long Live King Charles [or George]‘ first. We, for one, think His Royal Highness The Prince Of Wales will make an excellent King.