Queen Elizabeth II became "the best role model" for her grandson, Prince William, who might become a King someday. He was trained to become a reigning monarch to his people all his life. However, he stands farther than Prince Charles in line to succession.
The British royal family is one of the last reigning monarchs in the world. The monarchy has hundreds of years of tradition that they still follow. One of these long-standing traditions is the line of succession to the throne.
Queen Elizabeth II is Britain’s reigning monarch. She has been on the throne for 70 years. The 95-year-old Queen recently lost her husband, Prince Phillip, in 2021, and questions about her future on the throne have surfaced.
A Smiling Prince William looking at surprised Prince Charles | Photo: Getty Images
WILLIAM WAS TRAINED TO BECOME KING SINCE CHILDHOOD
Since his childhood years, Prince William followed his grandmother very closely as she carried out her duties as the Queen. Their close relationship continued throughout his teenage and adult years as his knowledge of the royal responsibilities grew.
Although Prince William is second in line to the throne – after his father – his preparation to take over as the King has been underway for many years. Following the late Prince Phillip retiring from royal duties in 2017, Prince William took on an even more active role within the monarchy.
Prince William is married to Kate Middleton, and together they have three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Since Prince William was a teenager, his grandmother would let him read through state boxes as part of his constitutional education.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William during a visit to RAF Valley on April 1, 2011 in Holyhead, United Kingdom | Photo: Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth and Prince William’s bond has remained strong despite a sometimes tense relationship between the Queen and Prince William’s father, Prince Charles. He even once called her “the best role model I’ve ever had.”
WILLIAM IS MORE AWAITED BY PEOPLE AND ROYAL STAFF TO BECOME KING
An independent poll of over 1,500 respondents revealed that 47% of British people prefer Prince William to become the next King of England. His father, who is most likely to become king before him, had only 27% of respondents preferring him over Prince William.
These statistics have remained consistent over the years, with a 2018 poll showing that Prince Charles ranked at number seven in popularity. Prince William was ranked third, following his younger brother, Prince Harry, and grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.
Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, The Prince Of Wales, and Heir Prince William at Clarence House | Photo: Getty Images
Prince William’s popularity does not only end with the British public. Some former staff members of the royal family also prefer Prince William over his father. Princess Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell, said that Prince William would make a better king than his father:
“[William] has far less baggage than his father. He has his mother’s touch and has the ability to reach, listen, and be understanding. It would take the monarchy to another level and back onto the world stage in a proper and meaningful way.”
Burrel added that the British public would be happier to be led by William. The former butler said that the young prince would be more in touch with the public, thereby sustaining the longevity of the monarchy for a much longer time.
EXPERTS BELIEVE THAT WILLIAM SHOULD BECOME THE NEXT KING
Following the recent death of Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Phillip, questions about the possibility of Prince William becoming king surfaced. Prince William's succession journey is likely to follow the same ancestry laws put in place by Britain's government in 1700.
Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018 in London, England | Photo: Getty Images
Prince Charles's first-born son will automatically become king when Queen Elizabeth resigns from the throne or dies. The most likely way that William can ascend to the throne before his father is if Prince Charles dies before Queen Elizabeth.
Despite this long-standing line of succession to the throne, some experts believe that Prince William could become king before his father. Another way to ascend to the throne is if Prince Charles bestows the crown to him.
Experts at the University College London’s Constitution Unit argue that the monarchy cannot unilaterally change the order of succession to the throne:
“The line of succession is regulated by parliament (as in the Act of Succession 1700, and the Succession to the Crown Act 2013); it can be changed only by parliament.”
Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Diana Princess of Wales, Prince William and Prince Harry stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace | Photo: Getty Images
However, the experts say that since Prince Charles has been waiting for the crown for so long, he may choose to ascend to the throne despite his old age. After a short while on the throne, he could invite Parliament to pass the crown to Prince William.
Stewart Pearce, Princess Diana’s former voice coach, said Prince Charles is likely to bestow the crown to his son and not take up his role as king at all. Being a king is a difficult task, and Stewart argued that Prince Charles does not want to take it on.
Stewart also said that Prince William had been part of the conversation about succession since he was a teenager. But even if Prince Charles were to step back from being a king after his mother’s resignation or death, Parliament needs to be involved.
Princess Charlotte and her brother Prince George led by their father, Prince William, at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018 | Photo: Getty Images
It remains unclear whether Prince Charles will be in favor of abdicating the throne to let his son become king immediately after the Queen. If Prince Charles chooses to take on the role of being king as soon as he has the opportunity to, it will mean that Prince William must wait longer to exercise his authority as the king.
Whether he will need to wait for his father to die or abdicate the throne to be king, Queen Elizabeth has mentored Prince William throughout his life. Training under one of the longest-serving monarchs in British history, as well as his popularity, may yield a successful reign when the time comes.