Update: Buckingham Palace has just announced that Queen Elizabeth II has died on Thursday 8th September at 96 years of age.
However, some constitutional experts believe that Charles, who is 73, might decide to take the throne for a few years before handing the crown straight to his eldest son, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.
Experts at University College London's Constitution Unit have revealed that while it is 'a matter for Prince Charles, and for Parliament', they believe that the Queen will not abdicate and will serve 'for her whole life'.
The website states: 'For the Queen, abdication is said to be unthinkable, for two reasons. The first is the bad example of Edward VIII: his abdication brought the Queen's father onto the throne, unexpectedly and most reluctantly.
'The second is her declaration on her twenty-first birthday that she would serve for her whole life whether it be long or short. She is also said to regard her oath at her coronation as imposing a sacred duty to reign as long as she shall live.'
With regards to the possibility of Charles passing the crown straight to William, the website reads: 'Having waited over 60 years as heir apparent, it would be perfectly natural for Prince Charles to want to assume the throne and perform the royal duties for which he has spent so long preparing in waiting.
'But it would be equally natural if, after reigning for a few years as an increasingly elderly monarch, he chose to invite Parliament to hand on the throne to Prince William.'
So could William become King sooner than anticipated? Only time will tell!
This story has been updated to reflect the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing on Thursday 8th September 2022.
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Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.
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