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Royalty/Charles forfeiting he throne?


Hi there, Edward had to abdicate because he was marrying a divorcee. Because Charles got divorced and remarried does that mean he has forfeited the throne to William? Or is the decision up to the monarch?.There is obviously prescedent for him to forfeit the throne, but can the Queen just change the rules?

Hi James,

Thanks for your question.

Although Edward and Charles' situations may seem similar at first, they are very different. Edward was already King while Charles is still heir. Unlike Edward, Charles is already divorced. But, I would say most significantly, no doubt recognizing the reality that divorce is more common now, the Church of England has relaxed its rules on remarry divorcees since the Abdication crisis in 1936. It would be interesting to see just how the situation might have played out for Edward if he had married today instead of back then.  

The succession to the British throne is regulated by Parliamentary statute, The Act of Settlement. In effect, the Queen has no say in who succeeds her and who does not. The monarchy is not a popularlity contest and the Queen cannot choose William over Charles regardless of what her personal preference might be. Those who want William to leapfrog over Charles will be waiting for something that will never happen.

By marrying Camilla, Charles has not foreited the throne to William. Charles is heir by birthright and his position will not change until he becomes King.

Hope this answers your question.


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Marilyn Braun


I can answer questions on British Royalty from Queen Victoria's time to the present.


A life long interest in British Royalty.

I have acted as a royalty expert on and I currently answer royalty questions on Yahoo Answers. I also update royalty articles on Wikipedia.

I have my own royalty blog called Marilyn's Royal Blog: I have written articles on royal weddings, births, engagement rings, protocol, as well as short royal profiles. I have also appeared on CBC Newsworld, CTV News, BBC Radio, CBC Radio.

A lifelong interest in the topic and over 400 books on the subject.

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