Royal Question: What Happens If Prince Charles Dies Before The Queen?

The Buckingham Palace has always been prepared in case Queen Elizabeth II succumbs to death. Every royal aide has been informed to use the code "Operation London Bridge" and has practiced the series of events and protocols they need to follow when the 94-year-old monarch passes away. 

Under normal circumstances, the next heir to the throne, Prince Charles, will immediately be introduced as the head of the British monarchy and declared as the new King. Her Majesty will have a funeral at Westminster Abbey before being paraded on a slow horse ride through the streets packed with people wanting to pay their final respects.

But when Prince Charles tested positive for novel coronavirus earlier this year, it has sparked the curiosity of many on what will happen to Britain's succession in case the Queen outlived the Prince of Wales. 

What Happens If Prince Charles Dies Before The Queen?

While the death of the first in line to the throne sounds devastating and a total nightmare for the royal family, the monarchy will still follow the rule of succession. 

It only means that Prince Charles' eldest son, Prince William, will automatically become the next heir to the throne. 

But the Duke of Cambridge will not automatically be "promoted" and declared King. Prince William will still have to wait for his turn or wait until his grandmother passes away before he officially becomes King and his wife, Kate Middleton, becomes the Queen consort. 

"When the queen dies, Prince Charles will automatically become king," University College London professor Robert Hazell told the "Insider."

"So, during William's lifetime, he will almost certainly see his father become King. Only if Charles dies before the Queen would William become King when the Queen dies."

Next on the succession would be Prince William and Kate's eldest son, Prince George, who is now six-years-old. 

"If William were to die before Charles, then on the death of Charles, Prince George would become king," Hazell explained. 

The next on the succession would be George's siblings, namely Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

This puts Prince William's brother, Prince Harry, as the sixth heir to the throne. Harry is still in the line of succession even if he just stepped down as a senior member of the royal family. 

How Prince Charles' Funeral Would Look Like?

In case the 71-year-old royal dies before the Queen, his death will be followed by a period of mourning and a moment of silence to honor his life. Moreover, BBC will be the first to announce his death. 

Just like the plan for Queen Elizabeth's funeral, Prince Charles' remains will also lie in state for 12 days before sending him to his final laying place. 

Changes In Royal Titles

What happens if Prince Charles dies before the Queen -- particularly his title?

If Charles dies before the Queen, the royal titles would also have a significant change. The title of Prince of Wales will immediately pass on to Prince William when he becomes King, but the title Duke of Cornwall will remain on Charles as it was reserved to him by the Queen. 

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