Q&A: Royal family's line of succession

Royal family's line of succession

With all the events of Queen Elizabeth's 60th year, often mentioned is the future king of England, Prince William. What happened to Prince Charles? Is he being skipped?

Last week's Diamond Jubilee was the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's ascension to the throne.

Queen Elizabeth II, now 86, became queen on Feb. 6, 1952, when her father, King George VI, died. He was the second son of King George V and was not expected to become king. But his older brother, King Edward VIII, caused a scandal when he proposed to a divorced American, Wallis Simpson. The ensuing uproar prompted Edward to abdicate to his brother, Albert, after just 326 days on the throne. Albert became King George VI.

Elizabeth's oldest son, Charles, prince of Wales, is 63 and next in line to succeed when his mother dies or leaves office. Prince William, 29, the son of Charles and his first wife, the late Princess Diana, is second, followed by his brother, Prince Henry, 27. That line of succession is expected to be followed, though a recent poll showed that the British public would prefer to see William assume the throne when his grandmother dies. But William is having none of that.

"There is no question in Prince William's mind that the prince of Wales will be the next monarch," Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, William's private secretary, said in 2010. "Prince William … knows his place in the royal family, and he … has no desire to climb the ladder of kingship before his time."

Meanwhile, there has been a significant change in the rules of succession. Last October, at the Commonwealth summit in Perth, Australia, it was decided that girls born to members of the royal family will be given equal rights to boys. So if William and his wife, Kate, the duke and duchess of Cambridge, have a girl first, she would be first in line over any younger brothers to take the throne.

Also, the group overturned the rule that prohibited anyone in the line of succession from marrying a Roman Catholic.

Elizabeth is queen of many hats

How many hats does the queen of England have? Has she ever worn the same hat twice?

Queen Elizabeth II is, indeed, a monarch of many hats. ABC News reported in 2006 that the queen had worn more than 5,000 hats in her then-50-plus years on the throne.

Freddy Fox, one of the queen's milliners at the time, told ABC that he had made hundreds for her and that when the queen travels, she sometimes has a separate train car just for the head wear.

But she does wear her favorite hats as many as 20 or 30 times, another of her former milliners, Philip Somerville, told ABC. He also said there are a few she chose not to wear more than once. "The one that we did for the millennium. And I wasn't happy about that," Somerville told ABC. "I don't know why or where I went wrong. I must have had an off day."

Q&A: Royal family's line of succession 06/10/12 [Last modified: Sunday, June 10, 2012 5:30am]

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