Historian: Bypassing Prince Charles for the throne "would face forbidding obstacles"

Historians in the News

...[T]he potential situations that favor Charles’ giving way to his son, or taking the throne as king without Camilla as his queen, seem likely to collide with political and constitutional reality.

For one thing, the royal family has an established aversion to the idea of abdication. King Edward VIII’s decision to quit the throne in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson remains a grim shadow in the royal memory, especially for Queen Elizabeth, who is said to remain haunted by the trauma her father, King George VI, suffered when he was forced to take the throne.

In an interview for this article, Richard Drayton, a professor of history at King’s College, London, said that bypassing Charles would face forbidding obstacles, including “an act of Parliament, and probably a decision by Charles himself to abdicate.”

Constitutional experts have said that nothing in Britain’s constitutional tradition or common law provides for the wife of the king’s not becoming queen, and that Camilla would, in practice, be Britain’s queen, whatever title she carried....

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