The unfortunate wait could be longer than expected but Princes or Princesses had to bear with it as most of the time, only the death of the father or mother makes them King or Queen. Otherwise, one should abdicate paving the way to the successor. The elder brother of the father of the British Queen, King Edward VIII abdicated as he wanted to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Their marriage was not approved by the Church of England and he had no option but to leave the throne in the name of love. It must have been really worth to choose Simpson against the United Kingdom. But we never know there could have been other reasons.
The Queen of England Elizabeth the Second has been the Queen for 62 years since the death of her father King George the sixth. She married Prince Philip, a Greek by birth in 1947. She bore four children and reigns with no difficulties.
Now 88, she wants to transfer most of her royal duties to her elder son, Prince Charles, the heir to the throne. Even after marrying Princess Diana, Charles continued his love affair with Camila Parker-Bowles which he had since his youth. Camila who was married to Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles since 1973, divorced him in 1995 to be with Prince Charles. The Bowles couple had two children and they both are married with children at present.
Charles faced the same situation like his uncle King Edward when he decided to marry Camila. There was a situation where the Church of England almost disapproved their marriage and it was uncertain whether Charles could become the King as the husband of a divorcee. But the Church changed the rules, assumed with the patronage of the Queen, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
Now a gentle succession has begun. The Queen has relinquished some of her traditional duties as the Monarch.
After her 88th birthday in April, she agreed to hand over a part of her workload in a historic “job-share” arrangement with 65-year-old Prince Charles. He will be taking on more Head of State responsibilities as he did last year leading the Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka. The Palace is to make tentative plans for his eventual succession. Many attached to the palace agreed the move as “wise” - and “just plain common sense”.
As the first step of the transition, merging of the Queen’s and Charles’ press offices already took place. In future, any announcements concerning the monarch and Prince Charles will now come from the same source. As Princes William and Harry have relinquished their military responsibilities, they will also play a big part in the new transition with more responsibilities.
But it is not easy for Prince Harry to do a desk job as he said recently. He is more nervous about being desk-bound than he was flying an Army attack helicopter in Afghanistan. Harry has told his friends “flying a desk” in Whitehall was “a terrifying prospect.” The Prince fears his work will be sent back covered in “red ink” corrections. About the transfer of duties to Prince Charles, a palace aide said: “This is about passing the baton to the next generation. The Prince of Wales’ diary is chock-full. Even he realises with the best will in the world, he can’t go on like that.
This is not going to be a sudden shift. It is a gradual process which will be borne out over the next few years. It’s a gentle succession. It’s important to note that the Queen is still working very hard. Every day you see her with the red box of Government papers and giving audiences. Charles will be doing less of his campaigning and things he likes to do, and more of the Head of State role. Charles and Camilla will be doing much more of the public work on her behalf.” It is evident that the Queen intends to overtake Queen Victoria’s longest serving record of 63 years. The changes do not mean she is going to abdicate or take a back seat. One of the Queen’s most important duties is to have a weekly briefing with the Prime Minister. But Prince Charles will not have the privilege to join them as yet.
One day Prince Charles will assume duties as the King of England. But it is sad to think that the heir to the throne’s biggest day in life could be the day of his mother’s death.
Article Courtsey: Daily News : See more at: www.dailynews.lk/features