Why Prince George might never be King – and the royal who could take his place

Prince George and Princess Charlotte fight over morning music

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The birth of Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s first baby in 2013 was a huge moment for the Royal Family, as the couple’s firstborn child would be destined to be a future King or Queen. Prince George was named after six famous British kings, which was particularly fitting given his birthright. But could George ever decide not to be King? If he decided to avoid the throne, he’d have to decide before Prince William’s death.

How could Prince George step down as King?

There is a recent precedent in the Royal Family for abdicating the throne, although it wasn’t viewed upon fondly by members of the Royal Family and much of the public at the time.

King Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 after less than a year on the throne in order to marry the love of his life, Wallis Simpson.

The crown passed unexpectedly to Edward’s younger brother, the Duke of York, who became King George VI upon his accession to the throne.

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If for whatever reason, Prince George decided he didn’t want to be King, he would have the option to abdicate when he is on the throne.

Equally, George could also decide to pre-emptively give up the crown, making way for his sister to rule as Queen.

If this is the case, Princess Charlotte would become Queen Charlotte in her own right, just like the current Queen Elizabeth II.

Dr Craig Prescott, a constitutional expert at Bangor University, explained to Express.co.uk: “In theory, Prince George could decide not to be King.

“The line of succession to the crown is set out by Act of Parliament, and can only be changed by another Act of Parliament.

“So Prince George would have to make that decision before his father Prince William dies, and then Parliament could pass legislation making the next in line, Princess Charlotte, Queen (assuming she would want to do it).

“This is sort of what happened when Edward VIII abdicated.

“Ultimately, he chose Wallis Simpson over being King, and so Parliament passed His Majesty’s Declaration of Abdication Act 1936, which removed him as King, and made his younger brother, with the effect that the Duke of York, his younger brother, became King, taking the title George VI.”

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Why might Prince George decide not to be King?

Prince George is only eight years old, so he understandably may not have decided yet about his future royal role.

But if he wanted to pursue his own career away from the Royal Family, George might decide against being King.

Like other members of the Royal Family, such as Prince Harry, George could decide he doesn’t want a working royal role in the future.

But if he decides not to take the throne, a complicated process would likely ensue in order to remove George from the line of succession.

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