The real reason why Queen Elizabeth won't give up the throne to Prince Charles

Queen Elizabeth II is a formidable figure who is also "Britain's longest-serving monarch in history," having "inherit[ed] the throne from her father in 1952," according to the U.K.'s Express. When she eventually retires or passes away, her eldest child, Prince Charles is expected to take over the crown. But will he? Maybe not if the queen decides to pass over him and chose someone else for the important role.

Frankly, changes in succession do, indeed, happen. The queen herself holds her place in history due to the fact that her uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated the throne, meaning that his younger brother (Elizabeth's father), George VI, became king and the line of succession was switched over to Elizabeth's side of the family (that's right, she was never originally meant to be the monarch). This put Charles in place as a future king.

Although some reports say that Prince Charles is already preparing to take over, other sources say that the queen has no intention of stepping aside any time soon — especially now that the family is seeing a resurgence in popularity thanks to the younger generation. And when she does leave the throne vacant, the monarch may make a controversial decision that drastically changes the future of the royal family by opting to skip her son and, instead pass, on her role to whoever she feels is best suited to rule. And that may be exactly what happens for three very specific reasons. 

There are three reasons why Prince Charles may not be king

If Prince Charles still intends to inherit the throne from his mother, Queen Elizabeth, then he'll have to overcome three major issues that are standing in his way. The first being his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. Although Charles and Camilla are now married, the duo has faced their fair share of bad press and ill will due to the fact that they had an affair while Charles was still married to Princess Diana. That never-forgotten scandal and Camilla's ongoing shady ways may be a problem if they want to one day be Britain's #1 couple (although it looks like she'll never be a queen even if he does take the throne).

However, that's not the only issue. Prince Charles is already getting older and the fact that he's in an at-risk age group means that he's more susceptible to health problems, including the royal's coronavirus diagnosis. And there just so happens to be someone younger waiting in the wings, which is the third reason why Charles may be looked over.

"The time will come, naturally, that [the queen will] pass [the crown] on and I think it will be to Prince William," broadcaster Sherrie Hewson told the Express. While this would disrupt the natural line of succession, it's up to the queen to decide what she thinks is best and that may very well mean that William ends up on the throne instead of his father.

Are Prince William and Kate Middleton ready to rule?

When Kate Middleton married Prince William in 2011, she wasn't only tying the knot with the love of her life, but she was also signing on to become the future queen of England. As Prince Charles' eldest child, William is the second in line to the throne, and if rumors are to be believed and the queen skips her son in the line of succession, then the younger prince may actually be the next king and Kate could be the next queen. But are they ready to rule?

"Kate Middleton and Prince William stole the spotlight at Queen Elizabeth's Buckingham Palace last week, making it clear that they are ready for the next step on their royal journey," People magazine noted on Dec. 18, 2019. "They combine grace and regal presence with a lovely human touch," said a guest who was present at an event with William and Kate. "They are gracious and natural and yet able to really connect."

The prince has also shown that he's willing to lead in times of need, for instance, being "the first Royal Family member to speak out amid the ... coronavirus pandemic," according to the Express. "This is how the Duke of Cambridge has shown he is ready to be king."

This may leave you wondering if another popular royal pair could one day be a suitable choice for the throne.

Could Prince Harry and Meghan Markle become king and queen?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made waves when they decided to step back from their roles as senior royals and embrace a new life, but that hasn't altered their eligibility to one day become king and queen. As it stands, as Queen Elizabeth's grandson and Prince Charles' younger child, Harry is sixth in the line of succession and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, would be right beside him if he were to rule. However, a lot of things would have to happen for the pair to take over the throne.

First and foremost, Harry and Meghan would have to leave behind their part-time (and massive) home in Canada and return to Britain with their son, Archie. They would also have to step back into their roles as full-time working royals and ditch any professional pursuits. That's something that doesn't seem likely (at least not in the foreseeable future), especially since Harry doesn't seem to be keen on the idea of taking over the crown and doesn't think that anyone else wants to either. "Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don't think so," he admitted in 2017, according to The Guardian.

Beyond that, a few other people would have to step aside. Along with Prince Charles and Prince William, there are also three little royals who could one day be king or queen before Harry and Meghan.

Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis are all in line for the throne

If Queen Elizabeth doesn't give up the throne to Prince Charles and instead chooses her grandson, Prince William, that will bump everyone else up in the line of succession, including William's three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

When William, the second in line to the throne, welcomed Prince George into the world in 2013 with his wife, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry was pushed back in the royal order and little George became the third person in line. Thanks to a modern change in the rules that saw female offspring included in the direct line of succession, Princess Charlotte took the fourth spot after her older brother when she was born, and Prince Louis is now #5.

Frankly, William and Kate are already prepping Prince George to be king, which is something that all royals in line for the throne have to be prepared for, including these relations of the current queen who could all one day take over the throne.

What other royals are in the line of succession for the throne?

In addition to potentially making the decision to skip Prince Charles when it comes to handing over the crown, Queen Elizabeth could also decide that Prince William isn't suitable for the role and may even pass over her great-grandchildren, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. That's because there are quite a few other people included in the line of succession to the British throne.

Following Prince Harry, who sits in the sixth spot, comes his son, whose formal title is Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. From there, the Yorks take over. First up is the Duke of York, who is the queen's second son, Prince Andrew. However, his scandal-ridden situation means that he would likely be excluded in favor of one of his two daughters, Princess Beatrice of York or Princess Eugenie of York.

In the eleventh spot is the queen's third son, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, who's followed by his younger child and only son, James, Viscount Severn. Prince Edward's eldest, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, comes next. From there, the line hops back to one of the queen's children, her daughter, Anne, Princess Royal. The fifteenth spot goes to Anne's son, Peter Phillips, and then his children, Savannah and Isla. The final spot in the immediate line goes to Anne's daughter, Zara, who is in the eighteenth spot.

It's clear that, no matter who gets the throne next, there will always be someone in the family ready to step up if needed.