As Bunting comes down after a long weekend of platinum jubilee celebrations, many at Buckingham Palace will take a sigh of relief that the 96-year-old queen took in an extra bank holiday announced in her honor.
But behind the scenes succession planning is well underway. It was ever like this. There are few other jobs in public life where the incumbent knows who will replace them before they start, but this has been the reality of the Queen ever since she gave birth. prince charles in 1948.
Unlike the Queen, Charles knows from birth that he will be emperor, with the late Spike Milligan jokingly referring to him as the “Apprentice King”.
His mother’s age has meant a significant reduction in his royal duties and appearances over the past year. With a large enough rota of royals to go on state visits, pay honors and open libraries, it is relatively easy to withdraw ceremonial duties.
Abolishing constitutional duties is less straightforward. For example, only the Queen can approve parliamentary bills or meet with the prime minister every week. They are purely ceremonial duties, with the Queen never signing a parliamentary bill, but they are extremely important.
“To deny permission would be a revolutionary act,” said Vernon Bogdanor, professor of government at King’s College, London, and author of The. Empire and constitution. “But even then, no bill passed by Parliament becomes law unless the Queen consents. Only she can.”
Among the options for how things could go is that the Queen abandons her son to see him become King Charles III.
No royal expert thinks this is on the cards. She lived through the abdication of 1936 when her uncle abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson. She saw her adoring, reluctant, unprepared father become King George VI and it was “very painful” for the whole family, Bogdanor said.
No one can see Rani doing the same thing as her uncle, even if the circumstances are very different. At least once you say that being an emperor is a matter of choice the whole thing loses its reason to be.
“It would be a little bit like being a president,” Bogdanor said. “Who is the best person to be president? We are not asking in our system who is the best person to be head of state. This is beyond logic.”
She also took an oft-repeated oath on her 21st birthday in 1947: “I declare before all of you that my whole life, long or short, is devoted to your service and service to our great royal family.” To which we all belong.”
Bogdanor said: “She is a very strong Christian believer and she does not break her oath.”
Experts say part of the reason it’s difficult for the Queen to stand alongside Prince Harry as a working royal is because she doesn’t see it as a role you can stop doing .
Another option would be a Regency, again unlikely. For this to happen, three of the four people – Lord Chancellor (Dominic Raab), Speaker of the House of Commons (Lindsay Hoyle), Lord Chief Justice (Lord Burnett of Maldon) and Master of the Roles (Sir Geoffrey Vos) – in writing must declare that they are satisfied that the Emperor is “incapable of performing royal functions by reason of infirmity of mind or body”.
A regent, possibly Charles, could then perform those duties.
96 years old queen is experiencing Relevant mobility problems But no one is saying that she is losing her mental ability.
The most likely scenario, Bogdanor said, is the use of mechanisms that exist in the case of the emperor’s temporary incapacity. These allow members of the Council of State – the four adults closest to the throne, therefore Charles, William, Harry and Andrew – to approve bills and carry out duties including appointing ambassadors.
It could not have had extensive powers, however: the Council of State, for example, is not able to give royal assent in any matter provided for in the Act dating from 1701.
By far the most likely and obvious scenario in the game of “what next” is that Charles succeeds to the throne after the death of his mother.
“Unlike the queen, she knows from birth that she will be king and is therefore, in my view, very well prepared for this,” said Bogdanor.
This is in stark contrast to his grandfather George VI, who had not even read a state paper before becoming king.
“I think that the affection and respect for the Queen will be transferred to the Prince of Wales when he becomes King. Her speeches and actions will all be on advice.
“He will not be able to make controversial remarks about architecture, shall we say. He will say what the ministers advise him to say.
“The role of the monarch will change a bit because he is a different person.”