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QUESTION: A few days ago,I read in a magazine that Queen Elizabeth is going to hand over the throne sometimes this year. But not to Charles. The article said that Charles had already agreed months ago to give it to William. Usually the news reports on something this important so I'm wondering if you have heard anything about it or if its just one of those stories to grab your attention. Do you know if its true?

ANSWER: Thank you for this question. As with so many royal stories, I'm afraid this one isn't true. The Queen would never abdicate - she has indicated this several times - and she certainly wouldn't agree to bypass the Prince of Wales. It isn't technically possible for this to occur without the approval of the Parliaments of the 16 countries of which Elizabeth II is Queen, and no such proposal has been made.

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QUESTION: The article said she wanted more time to be with her husband. Apparently his health is not good and she was worried ant being away if something happened to him. What proposal? Isn't the queen free to do what she wants? Does she need someone else's approval?

ANSWER: The law of the land makes the Queen the Queen, and the law would have to be changed to "unmake" her. There is no provision for retirement

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QUESTION: So if she ever decided to step down for whatever reason,whose permission does she need and what would happen if they said no?

She would need the permission of the Governments and Parliaments of most of the 16 countries of which she is queen, including Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica etc. If they - or even just one of them - said "no", she would remain queen for the rest of her life.


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Professor Noel Cox


I am an expert on monarchy and royalty. My particular areas of interest are the New Zealand and British monarchies. Special areas in which I have written include constitutional law, the law of succession, peerage and honours, heraldry and ceremonial.


I was Chairman of Monarchy New Zealand (formerly known as the Monarchist League of New Zealand), the leading monarchist organisation in New Zealand, 2000-2010. I am also a constitutional lawyer, holding a university chair as Professor of Constitutional Law. From 2010 I have been a professor of law (and until 2013 head of the law school) at Aberystwyth University, Wales.

Australasian Law Teachers Association; Commonwealth Lawyers Association; Legal Research Foundation; Monarchy New Zealand Inc (Fellow); The Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society; The Royal Historical Society (Fellow); The Society of Legal Scholars; The Ecclesiastical Law Society; Honourable Society of the Inner Temple; Affirming Catholicism; The University of Auckland Legacy Society; The University of Wales Guild of Graduates; The Mission Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda; International Commission and Association on Nobility; Irish Peers’ Association; Centre for Law and Religion.

“The Royal Prerogative in the Realms” (2007) 33(4) Commonwealth Law Bulletin 611-638; “The Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland and continuity of legal authority” (2007) 29 Dublin University Law Journal 84-110; “The Revenge of the Arcane Exclusion Clause: The Civil Registration of Marriage and the Royal Family” (2005) 5(2) Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal 179-204; “The effect of the advent of the Mixed-Member Proportional voting system upon the role of the Governor-General of New Zealand” (2002) 14(2) Bond Law Review 424-441; “The Treaty of Waitangi and the Relationship between Crown and Maori in New Zealand” (2002) 28(1) Brooklyn Journal of International Law 123-153; “The Theory of Sovereignty and the Importance of the Crown in the Realms of The Queen” (2002) 2(2) Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal 237-255; “Black v Chrétien: Suing a Minister of the Crown for Abuse of Power, Misfeasance in Public Office and Negligence” (September 2002) 9(3) E-Law, Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law available at ; “The Evolution of the Office of Governor-General of New Zealand” (2001) 5(1&2) Mountbatten Journal of Legal Studies 51-77; “Republican Sentiment in the Realms of the Queen: The New Zealand Perspective” (2001-2002) 29(1) Manitoba Law Journal 1-28; “The control of advice to the Crown and the development of executive independence in New Zealand” (2001) 13(1) Bond Law Review 166-189; “The Law of Succession to the Crown in New Zealand” (1999) 7 Waikato Law Review 49-72; “The Law of Arms in New Zealand” (1998) 18(2) New Zealand Universities Law Review 225-256; “The British Peerage: The Legal Standing of the Peerage and Baronetage in the Overseas Realms of the Crown with Particular Reference to New Zealand” (1997) 17 (4) New Zealand Universities Law Review 379-401.

After attending grammar school in Takapuna, I took up the study of law at the University of Auckland. After graduation with an LL.B. I was admitted and enrolled as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. I then undertook an LL.M. at the same university, and received the Fowlds Memorial Prize as most distinguished student in the Faculty of Law. I subsequently undertook a Ph.D. My doctoral research was under the supervision of Associate Professor Raymond Miller, and was on the topic of the “The Evolution of the New Zealand Monarchy: The Recognition of an Autochthonous Polity”.

Awards and Honors
Visiting Fellow, St Edmund's College, University of Cambridge 2009 Visiting Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge 2006 Fellow of The Royal Historical Society 2004- Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Law, The Australian National University 2003-2004 Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award, Researcher, Auckland University of Technology 2002 Fowlds Memorial Prize in Law, as the most distinguished student in the Faculty of Law, The University of Auckland 1994 Grand Cordon, The Royal and Hashemite Order of the Pearl (Sultanate of Sulu) 2011

Past/Present Clients
Books include - Constitutional paradigms and the stability of states (Ashgate, 2012); A Constitutional History of the New Zealand Monarchy (V.D.M., 2008);

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