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Once again, a U.S.-based tabloid is claiming it has the inside scoop on the British monarchy, alleging Prince William and Kate Middleton will be crowned the next king and queen of England. And once again, Gossip Cop can bust the premise that Queen Elizabeth will have her grandson ascend the throne over its rightful heir, Prince Charles. Not only are we told it's untrue, but there rules and regulations, some more than 300 years old, that prove the magazine's cover story is nothing more than a fabrication.

The latest issue of Star exclaims on its front page, "William & Kate: King & Queen!" It also asserts the reigning queen's "secret coup" has left Prince Charles "sobbing" and asking, "Mummy, what have you done?" Inside, the article maintains, "Queen Elizabeth is ditching protocol and passing the throne to her grandson." Actually, Her Majesty doesn't necessarily have the power to do that, but more about that in a bit.

The often discredited tabloid starts off its provably untrue story by writing, "William has been bumped up the line of succession and is now next to be king." It then claims, "A source reports that several government leaders within the Commonwealth secretly met earlier this year to plan how 92-year-old Queen Elizabeth will step down and how William will take over." Of course, in the real world, in April the leaders met to approve and announce Prince Charles as the next head of the Commonwealth. Actually, it was after the queen's urging he take over the Commonwealth that its leaders said in a statement, "The next head of the Commonwealth shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales." Clearly, the longest reigning monarch in British history wants her eldest son to be the next king.

Despite the truth, the American publication trots out a so-called "insider" who says, "As the queen gets older, she's figuring out how to keep the royal family relevant." The magazine's unnamed and untraceable source contends that because Prince William and Middleton are adding "new life" to the ages-old monarchy, "if Charles gets cast aside in the process, so be it." Prince William was purportedly "in shock when he found out" about the queen's secret plan, adds the almost assuredly made-up tipster. And while the Duke of Cambridge was supposedly overjoyed by the (fake) news of him becoming the next king, the tabloid's alleged "source" asserts, "All [Prince Charles] can do is sob, 'Mummy, what have you done?'"

The outlet's latest report is not only inaccurate, but it's also unoriginal. The magazine ran virtually the exact same cover nearly two years ago when it maintained Her Majesty was going to step down so she could be alive to watch the coronation of Prince William and Kate Middleton as the next king and queen. And exactly one year ago, Gossip Cop busted the same unreliable publication when it ran yet another bogus cover story about how Prince William and Middleton planned to "rule the throne" after Queen Elizabeth quits.

Those articles were simply untrue. What the magazine (and others like it) repeatedly get wrong is that the queen can't just decide to have her grandson leapfrog Prince Charles. She would have to get Parliament to enact that drastic change to the royal succession, which states the oldest heir is always the next in the line to the throne, as set forth by the Act of Settlement of 1701.

And it's not just Gossip Cop who's repeatedly said Prince William will never be king before Prince Charles. A palace official on condition of anonymity first laughed off the claim before pointing us to those very clear rules of succession. Once again, Star is provably and royally wrong.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.


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