Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are not next in line for the British throne, no matter how often the tabloids push this false narrative. It’s a storyline that has been recycled by the gossip media to the point of absurdity. Here are just a few times Gossip Cop has corrected wrong rumors about the couple becoming the next King and Queen of England.
Most recently, Woman’s Day had a cover story declaring Queen Elizabeth was handing over the throne to Middleton and Prince William. The publication seized on the opportunity to make up the unfounded claim after Prince Charles, the legal heir to the throne, joined the queen in opening Parliament earlier this month. Prince Charles, the Prince Of Wales, is Queen Elizabeth’s heir, and she cannot change that. The line of succession to the throne is determined by the laws of Parliament, not the sovereign herself.
In the story, the tabloid quoted a so-called “palace insider” as saying the queen told her son just before they arrived at Parliament that she was changing the line of succession. As Gossip Cop pointed out, if the outlet’s source was truly a royal insider, as it claims, the source would have known that the queen does not have to power to make that decision. In fact, the queen has no constitutional power whatsoever, so the story was just false.
In May 2019, the National Enquirer ran its own cover story alleging Queen Elizabeth wanted Prince William to “seize” the throne from Prince Charles. This is a very common trope that the tabloids recycle often, the idea that the line of succession can just skip the rightful heir. Again, legally, that cannot happen. Still, the tabloid claimed William had “saved the monarchy” after he “snatched the throne from his father.” That sound more like an episode of Game Of Thrones, but it doesn’t apply to the royal family.
The story got even more outrageous when the outlet claimed Prince William was banishing his father and his brother, Prince Harry, into exile. Once again, this type of plot line might play out on Game of Thrones, but it’s not going on amongst the royals. The tabloid’s report was as fanciful as the HBO fantasy show. The laws are cut and dry, as Gossip Cop pointed out at the time.
The Enquirer also published a cover story in February claiming Queen Elizabeth was “suffering from dementia,” but had named Prince William and Middleton the next king and queen in a “rare moment of clarity.” Not to be repetitive here, but we’re not sure how else to put this: the queen isn’t legally allowed to do that! Even if she had dementia, which she doesn’t, and even if was in a “rare moment of clarity,” she still can’t ignore the laws governing the line of succession to the British throne. The tabloids don’t seem concerned with British law, so it’s unlikely these stories will stop anytime soon. Gossip Cop will continue to correct the outlandish claims.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.