The Queen has been the head of the British Royal Family for 67 years, making her the country’s longest-reigning monarch in history. Unfortunately, being 93 years old, she only has so much time left before she has to pass her crown on to her successor. That, of course, is her eldest son, Prince Charles. Once he’s king, William will be one step away from becomig a monarch himself. However, before that happens, he’ll have a lot of new responsibilities to worry about as heir to the throne.
The future king
Unless something tragic happens, William is certain to sit on the throne once his father passes away.
His reign is something that’s eagerly anticipated by many fans of the Royal Family, but there are other things he has to deal with first.
A different ruler
Although Queen Elizabeth II is one of the world’s best-known monarchs, there was a time when she didn’t believe she’d sit on the throne. That’s because when she was a child, it wasn’t her father who reigned over the United Kingdom.
Instead, it was her uncle, King Edward VIII. The assumption was that he’d go on to have children, and the oldest of these would become his successor. However, before that happened, the man abdicated so he could marry Wallis Simpson, a divorcée that his family didn’t approve of.
Ready for the crown
After Edward VIII chose love over power, it was down to his younger brother – George VI – to take over as king. Given that he was the father of Elizabeth II, that made her the rightful heir to the throne. From that moment on, her life changed immensely as she received all the training necessary to prepare her for her future role.
There was no way a monarch could wear the crown without knowing what they were doing, so it was imperative she be taught as much as possible.
An untimely passing
All that training definitely came in handy because Elizabeth II ended up succeeding her father much sooner than she expected. It seems that George VI was quite a prominent smoker, and his love for this ended up giving him lung cancer. Despite people’s attempts to help him, his health deteriorated to a point where he couldn’t be saved.
Elizabeth II was only 26 when her father passed away, making her one of the youngest monarchs in British history. Thankfully, her age didn’t prove to be a hindrance on the throne.
The time is now
Elizabeth II wasn’t even in the UK when her father passed away. Instead, she was in Kenya embarking on one of her royal tours when the news broke. As soon as she heard what had happened, the 26-year-old knew her life was about to change massively.
Without her father around, she was now responsible for reigning over the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms, and that pressure was a lot to handle. Many people in her position would have buckled, but not her. She was ready to serve her country.
No-one else like her
It was on June 2, 1953, that Elizabeth II was officially coronated, and she’s been reigning ever since. Not only has she sat in the throne longer than any of her predecessors, but she’s also one of the most beloved monarchs in history. She’s done a lot for her country, from uniting world leaders to boosting tourism, and that legacy won’t be forgotten.
Of course, given she’s had such a significant impact, it’s understandable why people are worried about a future without her. Can Charles really follow in her footsteps?
Preparing for the future
In recent years, the Queen’s eldest son has done a lot to prepare for his future role. He knows his mother only has so much time left, so he’s stepped up to the plate ready for a smooth transition.
Some people wondered whether Charles might skip being king entirely and allow his son to take on the responsibility of the crown. However, it’s been confirmed that the Prince of Wales has no intention of missing out on this opportunity. After all, he’s waited most of his life for this opportunity.
A limited reign
While Charles probably still has plenty of life left in him, we doubt he’s going to reign for quite as long as his mother. After all, given he’s 71 this year, he’d have to live until he was around 140 to beat Elizabeth II’s reign.
The Royal Family might be in excellent health, but even they’re not capable of surviving for that long. After Charles’ time on the throne reaches its end, the crown will be passed down once again, this time to his eldest son – Prince William.
Many titles to choose from
Becoming king will be a huge deal for William, but his reign isn’t on the horizon just yet. Before that arrives, he has to worry about what happens when he takes over his father’s current position in the monarchy.
Among the things that may change for the young royal when his father becomes king is the addition of new royal titles. Throughout his time as heir apparent, Charles has received many honors, including the Duke of Cornwall, the Earl of Chester, and the Prince of Wales.
Passed down to his son
A lot of the titles that Charles has received throughout his life have been reserved for male members of the Royal Family. In most cases, they’re things that can only be used by one person at a time, so William will have to wait to receive these from his father.
However, he won’t have to hold out until his father passes away to get them. Things like the Prince of Wales title will come his way once Charles ascends to the throne, although he won’t necessarily have to use it.
Rolling in riches
It’s a well-known fact that the Royal Family aren’t strapped for cash. There’s a lot of money behind the monarchy, partly because the British taxpayer contributes to their fortune every year.
As it stands, William has a net worth potentially as high as $40 million, while his wife married into the family with around $10 million herself. That’s already a lot of money for two people, and it will only grow bigger once William becomes the heir to the throne. That’s certainly nothing to be upset about.
The man behind the money
A lot of the money used by the Royal Family comes from the Duchy of Cornwall. Worth around $1.2 billion, this fund is a combination of cash, land, and properties that the royals can use for private and professional purposes.
As the first in line to the throne, Charles currently has access to the Duchy and uses it to fund both his and his children’s activities. Being responsible for that money is a big deal, and it’s paramount that he not exploit the riches available to him.
Of course, once Charles takes over from his mother, his access to the Duchy will be revoked. He won’t need to use it anymore because he’ll have his own private funds as king. That means the responsibility of the Duchy will be passed down to his eldest son, giving William and Kate a lot more freedom in how they use their money.
It also means they’ll be responsible for allocating Harry and Meghan their funds. That could prove to be an issue given the frosty relations between the two couples.
A lot on their plate
It’s not merely titles and money that will come William and Kate’s way once Charles becomes king. Their duties will also increase in response to them moving up the line of succession.
The duo already does plenty on behalf of the Royal Family, with the pair frequently seen at things like charity events and formal presentations. They have a lot on their plate because they know the role of king and queen consort is in their future. However, that will step up another gear once the throne is in sight.
Keeping the public on side
Part of this change will come from William and Kate needing to prove that they’re fit for their future roles. Every time they make a public appearance and fulfill one of their royal duties, they have an impact on their people. The more positive this is, the likelier the pair are to be welcomed to the throne with open arms.
Given William and Kate currently have approval ratings of 69% and 64% respectively, they’re definitely on track for that. However, there’s always more they can do to win people over.
Covering his responsibilities
Although Charles will be king, he won’t be able to do everything expected of him. His responsibilities will be so vast that it’ll be physically impossible for him to cover them all.
In his absence, William will likely stand in his place thanks to his position as heir apparent. It’s something that Charles has done a lot of in recent years thanks to his mother growing old. Although the Queen is still relatively active, there’s only so much that a woman can do when she’s in her ‘90s.
It affects the family
Although we’re relatively sure of what will happen when Charles becomes king, there’s plenty of specifics we’re still not clear about. Obviously, the Royal Family aren’t going to share all their secrets with us, no matter how much we ask.
However, while some things might remain a mystery, we do know that his ascension to the throne won’t change his life alone. Everyone in the family will have to adapt to the new monarch, particularly William and Kate. After all, they’ll be one step closer to finally taking the crown.
Abiding by the rules
Once William becomes heir apparent, he and his wife will have even more eyes watching their every move. There will be certain expectations of the pair that they’ll have to meet, and doing this won’t be easy. However, if anyone is capable of it, it’s these two.
Unlike Harry and Meghan, they generally do an excellent job of sticking to royal protocols and setting a great example for the monarchy. Of course, they’re not complete sticklers for the rules. Their approach to leadership is still more relaxed than their ancestors.
Trained during childhood
Part of the reason William seems to abide by the rules more than his brother is that he grew up preparing to be king. Like his father, he received training from a young age to ensure he’d be ready to ascend to the throne.
It wasn’t so essential for Harry to be taught this stuff because the likelihood of him becoming king was much slimmer. Although he was third in the line of succession at the time, his brother was bound to have kids one day and push him down.
Lightening the load
While Charles is no doubt excited to finally become king, his responsibilities may already be reduced as soon as he takes to the throne. Being a more senior royal, what he’s capable of doing is nowhere near what it was a few decades ago.
Therefore, William may well find himself with a load more duties as soon as his grandmother passes away. Given the man is considered by many to be the future of the Royal Family, we doubt that people will be particularly upset about that.
Next in line
While George is probably currently unaware of the pressures of being heir apparent, these responsibilities will all be his one day. When Charles passes away, and William replaces him as king, it will be George’s job to fulfill the role of first in line to the throne.
That’s why he’s already started receiving training for his future responsibilities, although not to the same extent as his father. It seems William is trying to shelter his son from his birthright as much as possible so he can still enjoy his childhood.
Staking her claim
If, for any reason, George isn’t able to be king when William passes away, the honor will go to his sister. In the past, that wouldn’t have been the case, and Prince Louis would have ascended to the throne instead.
However, when Princess Charlotte was born, the royal law was changed to prevent gender from influencing who becomes the next monarch. This way, Charlotte wouldn’t be replaced by her younger brother should it be her turn to sit on the throne. That right there is gender equality at work.
The line of succession
Now that the younger royals have started having children, the line of succession has changed a lot since a decade ago. Charles is obviously still heir apparent, while William remains in second place. However, George is now third, Charlotte fourth, and Louis fifth.
This means that Harry has fallen from third to sixth in the last few years, making his odds of becoming king incredibly slim. His newborn son, Archie Harrison, stands even less of a chance at ascending to the throne down in 7th place.
She’ll never be a queen
When William becomes king, he won’t be the only one whose life will change dramatically. His wife will also benefit from his ascension to power, although she won’t be able to call herself queen.
Instead, she’ll be referred to as the queen consort because she’s royal by marriage, rather than blood. It will be the same for Camilla when Charles becomes king, and there’s nothing that can change that. If Charlotte ever takes the crown though, she will be a queen through and through. It’s all about the bloodline.
A slim chance
Unfortunately, even if Charlotte would make an excellent monarch, the chances of her becoming a queen are relatively slim. Much like Harry, although her position in the line of succession is reasonable right now, it will quickly drop if her brother has kids.
The more children he has, the further away the throne will get for her. That means it’ll probably be a long time before we have a woman as monarch again, although nothing is impossible. Who knows what the future may hold for the Royal Family.
Brothers torn apart
Until recently, William and Harry had often been a team when dealing with their royal duties. Alongside their partners, they were the ‘Fab Four’ who had the opportunity to bring amazing changes to the monarchy. However, recent months have seen these couples reportedly turn against one another due to escalating tension.
The rift between them has grown so significant that they’ve now established their own households and charity funds, bringing an end to the Royal Foundation. Evidently, William won’t be relying on Harry to help with his future responsibilities.
Bridging the gap
In the past, people struggled to associate with the Royal Family because they seemed too wealthy and elite to be relatable. Although their status and fortune haven’t really changed, the way the royals behave certainly has. Nowadays, you see them do things like go grocery shopping or catch commercial flights in a bid to be more normal.
William and his family have been particularly influential in bridging the gap between the monarchy and the public. Unfortunately, once the man becomes heir apparent, that may all change for the royal.
Doing it all themselves
There’s been an assumption in the past that the Royal Family isn’t as hands-on as they actually are. Although they do have staff to help them out, these people are more self-sufficient than it seems. That’s especially the case when it comes to the work they do to help make the world a better place.
Charles has taken on a lot of that responsibility himself in his role as heir apparent, and William will be expected to do the same. The world will be waiting for him to impress them.
Marking the occasion
There will be a lot of mixed emotions when Charles becomes king. On the one hand, it will be a devastating time because we’ll have just lost the Queen. However, it will also be a massive celebration because there will be someone new ascending to the throne.
As part of the proceedings, Charles will be coronated to officially mark the beginning of his reign. Although planning for this event will likely be dealt with by the Duke of Norfolk, it’s believed William might also have a hand in the preparations.
Staying where he is
For hundreds of years, the ruler of the British monarchy has lived at Buckingham Palace. However, that may all change once Charles ascends to the throne. Apparently, he’s “not likely” to live there with Camilla once he becomes king. Instead, he’ll remain at Clarence House where he and his wife have made a good home for themselves.
Although that defies tradition, the Royal Family have supposedly never cared much for Buckingham Palace. For William and Kate, that means no big move into Charles’ odd digs like they were expected to.
Oblivious to his birthright
A lot of people, particularly those in the UK, grow up knowing all about the Royal Family. They’re clued in on how the monarchy works, to the point that they actually know more than the royals themselves. It seems that Charles had no clue what his birthright was until he realized that people paid attention to everything he did.
Even though he was the heir to the throne, he didn’t think his life was anything special. Obviously, he’s come to realize that’s not the case all these years later.
Embracing his future
Once Charles was old enough to realize what was going on, he began to embrace all the responsibilities ahead of him. His acceptance of his future role was gradual, but it wasn’t something he attempted to run away from.
Even though he was daunted by the power that came from being a monarch, he knew he was in an incredibly fortunate position. So many people in the world would love to become king one day, but none of them had the royal blood that coursed through his veins.
Much like his father, William had also been clueless about his future at first. When you’re only a child, it’s hard to comprehend that you’ll one day rule over millions of people.
Even though the boy had noticed that people often took his picture, his mother had told him not to pay them any mind. She said the photographers were just interested in her in the hope it would give William more of a normal childhood. She couldn’t protect him forever, but she’d do it as long as possible.
It stays a secret
It may still be a while yet before George clicks on to what his birthright is. Obviously, the boy has noticed that his family is different to others thanks to all the benefits they’ve been afforded. However, William and Kate have no plans to share the truth about his future responsibilities quite yet.
They want to ensure their son understands what it means to be an heir to the throne before spilling the secret. Then, he can begin to prepare himself for the challenges that await him down the line.
Work hard, play harder
While George might be oblivious to his future role as king, the Royal Family has been teaching him essential responsibilities for several years now. Things like how to behave in public are vital for any member of the monarchy, regardless of whether they’ll ever be king or queen.
However, even though George’s royal education started early, his parents have ensured he still lives a normal life. That’s why they encourage him to do fun things like arts and crafts, as well as chores like looking after the family dog.