Queen faces ‘strict test’ if she decides to appoint Prince Charles king before she dies

Prince Charles: Expert discusses chances of becoming a regent

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The Queen could not just “hand over” the throne to Prince Charles if she wanted to, a royal expert has warned. UCL constitutional professor Bob Morris spoke Express.co.uk about the “strict test” that would have to be passed in order for this to happen. This comes as the monarch copes with the loss of her husband, Prince Philip.

Mr Morris told Express.co.uk: “The Queen is getting older, she’s now 94.

“There’s no suggestion of a regency at the moment.

“But there is a very strict test if this was to be the case.

“She can’t make anybody a regent like that.”

He continued: “She can’t just hand it over, as it were.

“They will have to close ranks and take on more of her work.

“I noticed that the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and Prince William are now undertaking some of the arrangements for honours and so on.”

The constitutional expert gave further insight into the legislation governing this scenario.

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Mr Morris said: “It was laid down in the Regency Act of 1937 to 1953.

“Regency is only possible where the Queen is judged ‘by reason of infirmity of mind or body incapable for the time being of performing the royal functions’.

“That’s the test, and it has to be supported by medical evidence.”

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He added: “The people who are responsible for judging that situation are essentially the Prince of Wales and a number of important judges.”

The legislation reads: “Those qualified under section 2 of the Regency Act 1937 to declare a Regency are any three or more of the wife or husband of the Sovereign, the Lord Chancellor, the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, and the Master of the Rolls.

“They have to declare in writing that they are satisfied by evidence which shall include the evidence of physicians that the Sovereign is by reason of infirmity of mind or body incapable for the time being of performing the royal functions (the incapacity does not have to be thought permanent) or that they are satisfied by evidence that the Sovereign is for some definite cause (captured by terrorists, for example( not available for the performance of those functions.

“The Regent is then – under section 3 – the person next in line to the throne except that Prince Philip was to be designated Regent during Prince Charles’s minority.

“Similarly, the same people may declare an end to the Regency if satisfied that the Sovereign has recovered their health or has become available for performing royal functions.”

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