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Prince Charles is not battling for the throne against his sister, Princess Anne. A tabloid report claiming so is wrong. Gossip Cop can explain.

Once again, a gossip magazine has made a ridiculous allegation about the succession to the British Throne. This time, it's Woman's Day, which is asserting that Queen Elizabeth II is favoring Princess Anne to succeed her as the monarch. In the phony report, a so-called source tells the tabloid, "As she has gotten older, she's gotten closer to Anne than ever before and realizes that her family would be much better off if Anne was the leader over Charles."

The dubious source, called a "courtier" by the tabloid, also says, "Last year, Charles seemed to realize he was in a precarious position - not only in the public's eyes, but mainly in his mother's. Since then he's mounted a full-on campaign to convince everyone he's fit to be king, but he's not sure he's done quite enough to win his mother's approval." The bogus article continues to quote the likely-made up source as saying, "Anne's extremely competitive, and there's no doubt she'll take any chance she gets to leapfrog her brother... Charles has a real popularity contest on his hands, and he's not certain his family is in his corner."

Once again, Gossip Cop is forced to correct a tabloid's complete lack of understanding of British law. The queen does not and will never have the power to name her own successor. The laws regarding who ascends to the throne are determined by Parliament, not the sovereign. There are a number of laws that relate to the line of succession and none of them involve the queen. A palace courtier would certainly understand this, which means the tabloid's source is almost certainly not a "courtier."

Popularity makes no difference either, despite the magazine alluding to it. Prince Charles could be despised by the public (though he's not) and would still be the next king. In fact, the only way Prince Charles won't be crowned the next king is if he dies before his mother or for some reason chooses to step aside. If the latter happens, Parliament would still need to approve it. In fact, even if one of these unlikely events did happen, his son Prince William would ascend. Princess Anne is currently 14th in line for the crown, so the only way she is ascending in the future would be a King Ralph-like situation.

The idea that the queen can change who will be her successor is a very common trope by all the tabloids. Gossip Cop debunked a similar claim by Woman's Day in October when the magazine claimed on its cover that the queen was handing the crown to Middleton. Just like this time, Gossip Cop explained that the queen didn't and cannot change the succession. This latest article makes no mention of the outlet's previous claims, nor has the outlet appeared to have learned basic British law, either.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.


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