Prince Charles will succeed Queen Elizabeth on the throne when she dies, but the Prince of Wales has been waiting to be the King of England for more than 50 years. His mother has surpassed the years of reign of all other monarchs in Britain and experts said that the Queen, at 94 years old, could continue to rule a few more years.
As Her Majesty ages, however, so does her heir to the throne, and questions have been raised over what could happen if Prince Charles dies ahead of the Queen. According to Robert Haze, a constitution and government expert from the University College London (UCL), this will mean that Prince William, Prince Charles' heir, will be the next monarch automatically.
It comes amid reports that Queen Elizabeth will never abdicate despite longstanding rumors that she's ready to pass on the crown to her son when she's 95. Katie Nicholl, the royal expert on Vanity Fair, said that it's not in the Queen's DNA to quit her job and abandon her duty. She will remain on the throne until her death because this was her oath when she became the monarch at 25 years old.
In 2022, Queen Elizabeth will celebrate 70 years of reign, and the U.K.'s culture secretary Oliver Dowden announced that major preparations are being carried out for the milestone year. The U.K. will have a four-day celebration and plenty of activities, but an abdication is not one of those expected events.
Royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith said that the only way she sees the Queen giving up her crown is if she becomes incapacitated. This situation will trigger the Regency Act, which means that Prince Charles could take over his mother's duty, but the state will still recognize Queen Elizabeth as the monarch.
The news of the Queen's abdication made papers yet again when royal biographer Robert Jobson, who is also a supporter of Prince Charles, told True Royalty TV that an abdication will most certainly be announced in 2021. Jobson wrote in his book, Charles at Seventy, that he has information from anonymous Buckingham Palace about the Queen standing down to give her eldest son a chance to reign.
Clarence House, Prince Charles' official residence, denied the murmurs about his ascension to the throne. Sources at Buckingham Palace also said that the Queen is still looking forward to a celebration of her Platinum Jubilee in 2022.