Queen Elizabeth II is not stepping down from the throne due to the coronavirus pandemic. She has not named Prince William and Kate Middleton the king and queen of England. A phony tabloid report claiming otherwise is false. Gossip Cop can explain.

The cover of In Touch this week proclaims in bold letters: "The Queen Ends Reign After 68 Years! Will & Kate Crowned King & Queen!" Inside, the two-page spread is filled with dramatic allegations, like the "end of an era" and "passing the crown on!" The bogus article is also filled with dubious quotes from a so-called "palace insider" attempting to back up the tabloid's untrue assertions.

"After 68 years, Elizabeth II is stepping down and making Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, king and queen," this supposed insider tells the unreliable outlet. The tipster goes on, "The queen's life is on hold - she doesn't know if or when she'll be able to return to Buckingham Palace or resume her duties, which is why she's been forced to rethink her position. It wasn't an easy decision, but in the end, she knew in her heart it was best if William and Kate took over the reins now."

As for Prince Charles, who is the rightful heir to the throne, the tabloid makes another serious of absurd allegations, claiming it's a "bitter pill for Charles to swallow." This almost certainly made-up palace insider says of Prince Charles: "He's prepared his whole life to be king, and Camilla was dying to be queen - she's always dreamed of having the $660 million crown jewels at her disposal and is upset they'll now be going to Kate." This source continues, "The queen explained to Charles that William and Kate have what it takes to save the monarchy right now."

This fairy tale concludes by bringing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle into the mix, asserting that not only is Prince William going to be the next king, but he's already planning his coronation, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex aren't invited. "Even if William did invite them, who knows if they would accept," says the so-called "palace insider."

Ok, so the tabloid does accidentally get a couple of things correct. One, the queen is in isolation in Windsor Castle riding out the coronavirus pandemic. At 96, she is in a very vulnerable age group, so it makes sense that she would be taking serious precautions. Two, Prince Charles is 71-years-old and also in that group. In fact, the palace announced this week that the Prince of Wales had indeed contracted the virus with "minor symptoms" and is resting at his summer home in Scotland, though the publication had no way of knowing that when it went to press. There is no indication that the prince is stepping aside in light of the diagnosis.

Here's what the tabloid gets incorrect: everything else in the piece. Starting at the top and on the cover. The queen has not stepped down. She is and will remain the reigning monarch until she dies. Queen Elizabeth made that clear on numerous occasions going back 75 years. Additionally, she cannot "skip" the line of succession over her son in favor of her grandson. In fact, the queen can't name anyone king or queen, as that's not a power she has.

Queen Elizabeth II has no jurisdiction when it comes to determining who is next in line with for the top job. This is a completely false narrative that Gossip Cop has repeatedly debunked dozens of times. Every tabloid makes this bogus assertion, and every time it happens, we step in to explain that only parliament - not the sovereign - determines the line of succession.

Indeed, just four months ago, Gossip Cop busted In Touch for claiming Prince William and Middleton would have a $1 billion coronation in 2020. That was months before the pandemic and yet, this latest story contends that the queen recently made the decision because of the virus. It wasn't true in December and it's not true today. The queen simply can't make that decision - pandemic or no pandemic. Any true "palace insider" would understand how the law works in the United Kingdom.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.

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