Changes to Expect at the Passing of the Queen of England

By Sanniah Hassan

With news of the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and the American actress, Meghan Markle, at the forefront, the British Royal family is once more in the limelight with people all over the world interested in the goings-on of the family (past and future). For years people have been speculating as to who will ascend the throne once Queen Elizabeth II passes on. Will it be Prince Charles or his son Prince William who will become the future King? No matter, it is believed that when the time comes this will be but only one change among many.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their wedding ceremony at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle [The Duke and Duchess of Sussex].
Since the time, the Royal engagement of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was announced late last year; many videos have popped up on the internet concerning the rules the Royals must follow, from their style of dressing to a listing of reasons for why any particular Royal family member is more liked by the people and so on. Many people have even starting speculating if the late Princess Diana was in fact murdered because she unveiled some dark secrets the Royal family wanted to keep hidden [but that is a topic of discussion for another day]. Let’s not digress; I came across a video that listed changes that may occur if Prince William were to be the next King of England. It was published by TheTalko on YouTube, discusses the possible circumstances which would take place if Queen Elizabeth’s grandson William were to replace her [if something were to happen to her].

Queen Elizabeth II, current sovereign of England.

The first change that may take place according to TheTalko can be the change of name. The ruling sovereign whether it is the King or Queen can change his/her name after the coronation and this must be accepted by everyone. For example, the late King George VI was born Albert Frederick Arthur George, he chose to be known as King George to signify a continuity with his father and predecessor King George V. since Prince Williams complete name is William Arthur Phillip Louis, he can pick any name [or even keep the name William since being King it will be his decision]. If he chooses to not change his name then his moniker will be William IV. The second change would of course be a change of title for the spouse of the King/Queen. In case, Prince William succeeds, it will be Kate Middleton whose title will change. The important thing to note here is that marrying into the Royal family does not automatically afford you the status of royalty. Therefore, her current title of Duchess of Cambridge will officially change into, Queen Consort Katherine; however, most people will simply refer to her as Queen Katherine or Queen.

Left: Prince William accompanied by Kate Middleton and their children; Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Right: Prince William and Kate Middleton with newborn Prince Louis.

The Royal family is very particular about succession to the throne. Since Prince Charles is first in line after Queen Elizabeth, he would automatically become King, nonetheless, if he were to either abdicate the throne or be unavailable at the time, then Prince William [who is second in line], would have the right to the throne. In this way, the throne will be passed on to whoever is next in line by bloodline which in the case of Prince William are his children; Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis [in that particular order] then followed by their uncle and younger brother to William, Prince Harry. In addition to this, the national anthem would need to be changed as well. Since the current anthem is God Save the Queen, it will have to change to God Save the King as well as other female pronouns. Not just this, the currency would need to be minted and printed anew. New money including bank notes and coins will need to be minted with Prince Williams face on them. Although the new currency will be prepared post haste, it is likely that there is already official artwork on Prince Charles and Prince William respectively. Apart from the above somewhat smaller changes, the most major change would be following and respecting the mourning period. Queen Elizabeth has ruled the throne for the past seventy years so it is possible that many people do not have a clue about life before her, therefore, they will have to respect the mourning period of approximately 12 days when all work will be stopped. This will likely damage the British economy, and the BBC will stop their broadcast of anything roughly comedic to highlight the seriousness of the situation.  Not only will that happen but, most of the Royal staff would immediately be sent home. They will only receive updates via special hotline number [phone number].

Moreover, an ascension council will be held at St. James’ Palace where the future monarch will be chosen and formally declared. Since the businesses will stop in respect to the Queen, things will only start to pick up after the funeral will be held which takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks since guests come from all over the world to pay their respects. Also, the funeral and the coronation will be declared national holidays. Despite the gloom which will engulf the nation at the passing of their beloved Queen, the coronation will provide a ray of hope to them [and for many it will be the first they experience]. The very first Royal coronation the people experience according to TheTalko was that of William the Conqueror in 1066. The coronation is a serious affair considering the ascension to the throne of a new monarch. When Queen Elizabeth had her coronation, the event lasted for about 3 hours with approximately 8,000 guests in attending. Although the coronation will entail a new list of extensive responsibilities to Prince William’s agenda the perk of travelling without a driver’s license or a passport might be making it easier for him.

A portrait of the Royal family at the occasion of the wedding of Prince Harry.

Apart from this, being King would grant him freedom from ever appearing in court as witness or defendant. He would be immune to prosecution meaning, that if he were to commit a crime, he would walk free for being the sovereign of the state. Considering how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are passionate about charity work, in the king of Prince William becoming King, these responsibilities would fall on Prince George as the next in line. Another significant change that is inevitable is the move from Kensington Palace to Buckingham Palace. Even the Christmas broadcast would be different since a King would be addressing the people instead of the Queen. Since the church is Protestant Anglican the Royal family must remain loyal as Anglicans especially Prince George if his father Prince William were to become King. Lastly, the change that may occur, in case Prince William were to defy his Anglican faith, he would not be allowed to become King as the next in line will automatically be Prince George.