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Prince Charles and Prince William are not fighting over who will be the next king. A tabloid story alleging the father and son are at war over the throne is very wrong. Gossip Cop can explain.

It seems like every few weeks a tabloid invents a story about Prince William somehow becoming the next king of the United Kingdom. This week, it's the National Enquirer's turn to take a stab at tricking readings into believing it. This version of the scenario pits father versus son in what the publication calls a "bitter war for the throne."

In the story, the tabloid quotes what it claims is a "high-level palace courtier" as saying, "Charles knows his mother wants to bypass him and make William the next king, but he is fighting tooth and nail." This almost certainly fake "palace insider" goes on to claim, "The Harry and Meghan 'we quit' debacle just fired up his determination to make sure HE succeeds the queen and no one else!" The phony source continues, "William has no intention of stepping aside - and the father-son power-grab has thrown the palace into chaos and crisis like the monarchy has never seen!"

The outlet then purports that Queen Elizabeth is "near death" and has met with both Prince Charles and Prince William who, according to the bogus palace insider, argued over who would make the better king. Not only is the outlet's story untrue, but it's not legally possible for Prince William to take the throne when Queen Elizabeth dies. One sure sign that the story is bogus is the claim it's coming from a "palace insider." Anyone working in the palace certainly understands the laws regarding succession and would know there's no legal way for anything like this to happen. Once again, the magazine's shoddy reporting must be cleared up by Gossip Cop.

Barring an unforeseen tragedy, like his death, Prince Charles will become king upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Even if the queen wanted to change the line of succession - which she doesn't - she can't. The laws of succession to the throne are governed by the U.K. Parliament, not the monarchy. There are a number of laws that deal with the issue, and they are clear. The queen has no power whatsoever to "name" her successor, as the outlet purports. Prince Charles is the heir apparent, while Prince William is second in line. The only way Prince William will be king is if Prince Charles dies or for some reason abdicates, which is highly unlikely.

This is a topic the tabloids return to over and over again. The Enquirer is often guilty of spreading this fable. Just last month, the tabloid alleged Queen Elizabeth had named Prince William king in the wake of Prince Andrew's scandal over his association with Jeffery Epstein. Gossip Cop once again cited the laws regarding succession when we debunked the false story.

In May 2019, the Enquirer claimed Queen Elizabeth wanted Prince William to "seize" the throne from Prince Charles. As Gossip Cop has explained over and over, Prince William can't do that without breaking numerous laws. Incidentally, that article, like this current one, also asserted that the queen was "dying," another false claim.

The outlet was also wrong just a couple of months earlier when it claimed Queen Elizabeth was "suffering from dementia" and had named Prince William and Kate Middleton king and queen. She wasn't, she didn't, and she can't. The tabloids have clearly found a bogus premise that works to sell papers, so it's unlikely these stories will stop, but Gossip Cop will keep calling out these outlets for their illogical reporting.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.


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