The debate was understandable but academic. The line of succession is not established and displayed in an official declaration. Everyone’s place in it is automatic at birth. This week, seven weeks after her birth, the website was updated, with Lilibet added at number 8.
Aside from the dated website, the birth-based list is sacrosanct. Even the queen cannot choose who succeeds her. The very essence of constitutional monarchy is that the head of state is not elected and therefore avoids the political baggage that accompanies his election as head of state. British Republicans say the system is fundamentally undemocratic and should be done away with, but they never got enough public support to make it happen.
Ultimately, only Parliament has the power to replace the monarch with a president, but there has never been any serious debate on this in Westminster. The argument you often hear from politicians is that you wouldn’t invent the system as it is now, but why change it?
Much of the credit for making it work goes to Queen Elizabeth, who is widely revered for the steadfast way she played the role. Time will tell if Prince Charles commands the same respect. Another idea brought up is that the Queen should hand the crown directly to the more popular Prince William.
But that would undermine the whole principle that the UK head of state is not chosen and, again, only Parliament would have the power to make this happen.
Lilibet’s place in the succession has always been as secure as that of Charles. The chances of her reaching the throne, however, are as unrealistic as the idea of the Buckingham Palace webmaster deciding who the successors are.
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING?
Harry and Meghan support British journalists.
Charles inaugurates a new national police memorial.
The Prince of Wales appeared at the dedication ceremony for the new British Police Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on Wednesday. Charles paid tribute to those who died for the protection of others by laying a wreath, before addressing attendees including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel. “On behalf of the nation, I would especially like to express my deep gratitude for the courage and sacrifice of those who sacrificed their lives to protect us, to remember their families who mourn and to recognize those who continue to serve in order to safeguard our freedoms, ”he declared.
A new royal show to binge on this weekend?
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Prince Charles was in attendance at Sandringham, the Queen’s countryside flash hole, on Tuesday as the estate released an endangered bird species onto the grounds. He joined Natural England chairman Tony Juniper as 80 Eurasian curlew chicks were released in an attempt to increase the bird population in eastern England. The Prince of Wales expressed his joy at Sandringham’s involvement in the project as he had ‘always cherished the evocative call of the curlew, but it is now dangerously close to being something our grandchildren will never have the chance to enjoy “. The passionate ecologist added, “Every curlew nest is something to enjoy, nourish and protect, and it is absolutely vital that we work together to reverse the fortunes of this iconic bird.”
OF THE ROYAL VAULT
Thursday marked 40 years since Diana’s spectacular marriage to Prince Charles in 1981. Her short stint as a royal would see her become an international icon who used her status to draw attention to a number of causes, from leprosy to domestic violence to mental health. The couple’s divorce in 1996 did not alleviate the intense media scrutiny the “People’s Princess” faced. And despite her untimely death in 1997, she remains a beloved figure to this day.
We thought we had a look back at this important royal moment four decades ago. Take a look yourself …