Prince Charles is the heir apparent to the throne in the United Kingdom. That doesn't stop the tabloids from making wild accusations claiming otherwise. Gossip Cop finds itself debunked all kinds of false allegations about his status. Here are just a few times we've had to correct bogus stories about who will take over after Queen Elizabeth dies.
The most common trope the tabloids like to assert is that somehow Prince Charles' son, Prince William, will somehow leapfrog over the Prince Of Wales to become king. For example, just a few weeks ago, the National Enquirer ran a cover story purporting Prince Charles and Prince William were in a "bitter war for the throne." The unreliable outlet made a number of dubious claims in the story, all of which were untrue.
In the article, a so-called "high-level palace courtier" says, "Charles knows his mother wants to bypass him and make William the next king, but he is fighting tooth and nail." That's the moment you know a story like this is fake. As Gossip Cop has explained over and over, Queen Elizabeth does not have the power to name her successor, meaning she cannot "bypass" her son in favor of her grandson. The laws of succession are determined by parliament, not the monarchy. It goes without saying, but the monarchy has no true political power and that includes making decisions on whom the next king will be.
This false assertion was also on display last March when the same publication ran the headline "William Seizes Throne From Charles!" on its cover. Inside, there was more of the same nonsense. This time, the tabloid alleged an "insider" said, "Her Majesty intends to abdicate before year's end" and in a "bold move" will name Prince William king.
Obviously there are two problems with that claim. One, the queen can't name anyone king, as we've discussed. Two, the year ended and Queen Elizabeth was (and still is) on the throne. This so-called "insider" must have been on the outside, because the source was either made up or completely clueless.
This isn't a new trope either. It's been going on for years. Way back in November 2017, Life & Style alleged Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth were "fighting over the future of the monarchy" after, as the magazine purported, the queen was planning to name, you guessed it, Prince William the next king. Just like the decision is not hers to make in 2020, it wasn't hers to make in 2017 either. This was just more nonsense made up by a tabloid to sell papers.
The narrative that the queen wants to skip over Prince Charles in favor of Prince William is not the only phony premise the tabloids try to sell the public. Earlier this month, Woman's Day claimed Prince Charles and Princess Anne were "fighting for the throne" and that, instead of Prince William this time, Queen Elizabeth "realizes that her family would be much better off if Anne was the leader over Charles." Does Gossip Cop need to explain how this constitutional monarchy works again? The tabloids need to take a civics course on the matter.
Finally, in yet another bogus report, the Globe falsely alleged in October that Prince Charles was seizing the crown as Queen Elizabeth's health declined. With a plotline straight out of a fantasy novel, the tabloid asserted that Prince Charles had named himself "temporary regent" with no plans to give the throne back to his mother. Without going into why this isn't possible (again), let's just say it obviously didn't happen. Queen Elizabeth II still remains on the throne and will likely remain there until the day she dies. When she does, Prince Charles will become king, just as U.K. law prescribes. Don't believe any of the other nonsense the tabloids write on the subject. Gossip Cop will continue to correct all of these phony reports.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.