Prince Charles is the next-in-line to throne and will become head of state when the Queen passes away. The Prince of Wales, 72, has been the longest King-in-waiting following the historic reign of 68 years and counting of his 94-year-old mother.
This has since prompted royal historians to speculate as to whether Charles would consider handing over the royal baton to his eldest son William, 38, rather than becoming King himself.
University College London’s Constitution Unit, a wing of the School of Public Policy, said: “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.”
A subsequent poll of more than 4,000 Express.co.uk readers has found the vast majority are in favour of Charles stepping aside for Prince William to take over.
Prince Charles should step aside for Prince William to become King, a poll finds
Prince Charles has been King-in-waiting for more than 60 years
The survey carried out on January 9 from 10.24am to 8.30pm asked 4,784 online readers, should Prince Charles stand aside for William to become King?
The results found 61 percent (2,905 readers) supported the proposal and voted “yes”.
Just 38 percent (1,825 readers) were against the idea and voted “no”.
Meanwhile, the remaining one percent (54 readers) remained unsure and said they did not know.
Prince William is currently second-in-line to the throne
A number of Express.co.uk readers let their feelings known in the comments section of the poll story.
One reader said: “I love the Royal Family. But I always believe Prince Charles is not worthy to be King or head of state.”
Another said: “Might be the only way to save the Royal Family after our Queen is gone.”
Meanwhile, many others disagreed, with one reader commenting: “I for one am looking forward to Charles becoming King.”
The Queen is the longest reigning Monarch in British history
A second added: “The right of succession must apply.”
The current legislation means Charles will automatically become King once his mother passes away and parliament would need to approve any other changes.
This is outlined in the Act of Settlement (1701), which confirmed that it was for Parliament to determine the title to the throne.
Speaking to Royal Central, Historian and author Marlene Koenig said: “Succession to the throne is based on legislation including the Succession to the Crown Act, which includes the Act of Settlement.
“It would take an act of Parliament to remove a person from the line of succession.”
The line of succession to the British throne
Only once in British history has a monarch abdicated – the Queen’s uncle in 1936.
King Edward VIII stepped down in order to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson, as she was a divorcée he was not allowed to marry her otherwise.
The Queen became the UK’s longest-serving monarch on September 9, 2015, after she surpassed the record of 63 years, seven months and two days set by Queen Victoria.
Prince Charles became heir apparent at the tender age of three when his mother, then Princess Elizabeth, acceded to the throne following the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952.
In 2011, the Prince of Wales broke the previous heir apparent record of 59 years, two months and 13 days, set by his great-great-grandfather, King Edward VII.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK