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Have Prince William and Kate Middleton taken over for the queen amid the coronavirus outbreak, as a tabloid claims? Of course not - the article is totally bogus. Gossip Cop can debunk it.

Never missing an opportunity to capitalize on a global emergency, New Idea published a cover story this week with a headline reading, "Kate & Wills Take The Throne." Inside is a two-page spread asserting that due to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles' advanced ages, Prince William is "on standby" to take over as the head of the royal family. The ridiculous piece alleges that Queen Elizabeth is "expected to be pushed to step down to ensure the monarchy continues to function" after she went into social isolation this week.

The bogus report contends that "royal experts believe the current crisis will mean Prince William must step forward to act as prince regent within a matter of weeks." The article goes on to quote other "royal experts" who explain that because of their youth, Prince William, Middleton and the queen's youngest son, Prince Edward, will have to pick up most royal duties. The United Kingdom has asked all seniors to remain isolated in the wake of the growing pandemic, and the queen - ever the dutiful sovereign - is doing just that at her private residence in Windsor Castle.

The story, however, is a blatant bait and switch. There is no discussion of Prince William and Middleton "taking the throne." There has not even been a discussion about Prince William increasing his workload. He, like most of the world, is living at home with his family while their three children are out of school. There is very little for the prince, or anyone else in the family, to do publically at this time. Instead of honestly reporting on the queen's situation, the tabloid is shamefully exploiting a worldwide pandemic to sell papers.

This claim, that Prince William will be the next king, is one that Gossip Cop debunks on an almost weekly basis. As we've explained over and over, Prince William cannot skip the line of succession and suddenly become king. There are numerous laws regarding the line of succession - pandemic or no pandemic. This particular tabloid also has an awful track record of making a wild accusation on its cover, only to back down from the claim inside the magazine.

For example, three weeks ago, New Idea purported that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's son, Archie, was "missing" for four days. In truth, Archie was fine, living with Markle in Canada. There was, in fact, no mention of the child being "missing" at all in the article. As Gossip Cop pointed out when we busted that report, it was a shameful example of the worst kind of fake tabloid headline.

Just one week earlier, New Idea tried the same trick, claiming on its cover that the palace "confirmed" Markle and Prince Harry were divorced. Once again, the story was completely different inside the magazine. Like this latest one, it was filled with quotes from "royal experts" and "palace insiders" asserting that the queen was "nervous" about the marriage surviving. That in and of itself isn't true, but it's certainly not true that the palace - or anyone else - confirmed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are divorcing. They aren't. This tabloid just enjoys tricking its readers with phony headlines.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.

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