I am not a great watcher of anything Royal, even though I am of English/Scottish ancestry. I would have voted Yes in the recent referrendum on Scottish Independence. I am of the belief that the monarchy is outdated or obsolete. However, my eye fell upon the front page of the Australian Woman’s Day (dated 24/11/2014) with the headline blaring “Royal Breaking News”, “Monarchy Bombshell”; “It’s Queen Kate”.
The womens magazine suggest “a very serious terror threat” during Remembrance Day in London against the Queen has caused her to reconsider her public position. She has since come to the “momentous decision” to crown her grandson Prince William and his wife Duchess Catherine as the next King and Queen.
The story went on to suggest that the Queen was going to announce her abdication at her traditional Christmas Day broadcast – “a message set to shock the world“.
It added that “covert discussions” with the “most senior royal advisors” and the British Prime Minister – as well as her son and heir Prince Charles, a decision has been made to instal the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as the next King and Queen of England!
The reason for this? The Womans Day suggests that the Queen is “desperate to spend more time with her increasingly frail husband, Prince Philip” citing 93 year old Phillip’s recent bouts of ill health and also stating that the Queen “has chosen love over everything else”.
And what is the source of these revelations? As usual, the source is the obscure:
- “most senior royal advisors”,
- “well-placed Kensington Palace sources”
- “our palace insider”
Or equally dubious and unnamed persons inside royal circles.
Whether the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are equal to the task of assuming the monarchy is not in question, rather the problem is one of law, protocol and precedence. To allow the Duke to ascend to the monarchy would require not only the Queen to abdicate, but Charles would need to abdicate as well. A double abdication? This is unprecedented in the history of the English monarchy.
The magazine suggests that Camilla has “well and truly dashed her chances” to be Queen by citing “drunken gaffes” and a “link” to a “drug scandal” as reasons why she is unsuitable, but gives no further substance to these allegations!
So what’s wrong with this story?
- The Queen has repeatedly stated that she is in the job “for life.” Nothing has changed.
- The Queen has always been a target for terrorists, domestic and foreign. She has not let this bother her before, and I don’t believe that she would let that bother her now.
- I doubt whether a discussion and decision as momentous as this would be “leaked” out by unnamed sources. This matter would be highly confidential.
- Prince Charles is 66 years old, he has waited all his life to assume the monarchy. He is quoted as being”supportive and understanding of his mother’s decision.” What has changed? Nothing! He still wants to be King.
- Suggestion that Camilla is unsuitable to be Queen by the use of unsupported allegations.
- For William to be King, would require a double abdication, the Queen cannot just “install” Prince William as King.
- Succession to the British throne is governed both by common law and statute. Under common law the crown was inherited by male-preference cognatic primogeniture. In other words, succession passes first to an individual’s sons, in order of birth, and subsequently to daughters, again in order of birth. However, from 2011, males would no longer take precedence in the order of succession over their older sisters. This change will not apply retrospectively to people born before October 2011.
- The monarch of the United Kingdom is also the monarch of 15 other Commonwealth sovereign states. By convention (as iterated in the preamble to the Statute of Westminster, 1931) the line of succession cannot be altered without the agreement of ALL 16 Commonwealth realms. Individual realms will need to enact legislation before the succession changes could take effect. There is no guarantee that this agreement would occur.
- This “Royal Breaking News” seems only to have been published by this magazine. An internet search for other sources to support this story proved fruitless.
- While Prince Philip at 93 is increasingly frail, he would not want the Queen to give up her position on his behalf. He has spent a lifetime at her side, supporting her at all times. He would continue to support her as much as he is able.
- “Love over service?” In the past the Queen has always chosen service. After 63 years on the throne she has clearly demonstrated the importance and value of service.
- And it certainly would not be Queen “Kate!”
This story is clearly a ploy to help sell magazines, and has been poorly researched, using unnamed quotes from dubious sources. More a work of fiction than fact?