If you’re wondering when Queen Elizabeth will take her final curtsy, you should know that she already kickstarted the process.
Back in April 2018, the longest-standing British monarch, 94, issued a formal request for the Commonwealth Heads of Government to appoint her son Prince Charles as her successor.
“It is my sincere wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations and will decide that one day the Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949,” she said during an official Buckingham Palace meeting.
The monarch went on to say that she hopes Prince Charles will carry on her legacy, adding, “By continuing to treasure and reinvigorate our associations and activities, I believe we will secure a safer, more prosperous and sustainable world for those who follow us: a world where the Commonwealth’s generosity of spirit can bring its gentle touch of healing and hope to all.”
Prince Charles is the first in a long list of heirs to the throne (followed by Prince William), so the announcement was a long time coming. Nevertheless, Queen Elizabeth hadn’t publicly backed her son as the next Commonwealth leader prior, so it’s a pretty big deal.
Although the queen will likely continue her reign until she’s unable to do so, it’s possible for Prince Charles to become king without ever being crowned. Should Her Majesty suddenly die (god forbid), he would automatically take her place as the rightful heir. While a coronation ceremony is tradition, it’s not required by the royal family, since he’s already been appointed as her successor.
For example, King Edward VIII reigned for 326 days without ever being crowned as king. Who knew?!
Guess it’s far less complicated than we ever imagined.