Yes, Queen Elizabeth Had Already Named Charles as Her Official Successor

The world is in mourning after the royal family announced that Queen Elizabeth has passed away at age 96. The question is: What’s next?

Long before her 70-year reign came to an end, the monarch had already kickstarted the process of stepping away from the throne. Back in April 2018, Queen Elizabeth issued a formal request for the Commonwealth Heads of Government to appoint her son, Prince Charles, as her successor.

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“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 hoped 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.”

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Prince Charles was 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 was a pretty big deal.

Queen Elizabeth passed on Thursday, September 8, 2022, in the year of her unprecedented Platinum Jubilee at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The news came shortly after the royal family announced that doctors were concerned about her health. In a heartfelt obituary, Rachel Bowie and Roberta Fiorito (co-hosts of Royally Obsessed podcast) explained that the queen’s legacy will carry on long after her death.

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“With her passing, the royal family is saying goodbye to their ‘Gran,’ while we lose the beacon that has been a stalwart guide in times of fear and change,” they wrote. “It’s not that Queen Elizabeth II was emotionally vulnerable to us—she wasn’t. Instead, she was unwavering, a rock that enabled us to feel solid ground during times when it felt like the rug was pulled out from beneath us.”

Charles has now taken her place as the ruling monarch. While a coronation ceremony is tradition, it’s not required by the royal family, since he’s already been appointed as her successor. And in any event, it should be quite some time before any coronation to allow for a period of mourning.

It’s the end of an era.

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Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...