Signs King Charles May Abdicate The Throne Amid His Cancer Diagnosis

King Charles III's cancer diagnosis has sparked newfound concern about how long he will be able to rule, with many royal watchers' minds turning towards who is next in line to take the throne if Charles abdicates or passes away. The act of abdication has long been in practice across many sovereign nations. When a monarch decides to give up their position, they willingly and legally surrender their rights as king or queen and step down as the ruling monarch of their nation.

If Charles were to decide to abdicate the throne, his eldest son, Prince William, would be the next in line to assume the role of ruling monarch of the United Kingdom. As the shocking news of the beloved leader's cancer diagnosis sends rumors of a new king swirling, we can't help but look at all the clear-as-day signs that Charles may go down the abdication route sooner rather than later. 

Charles reportedly has a long-term abdication goal

In January 2024, King Charles III faced the precursor to his cancer diagnosis. That month, he went into the hospital after suffering the side effects of an enlarged prostate (his daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton, was also taken to the hospital that same month for abdominal surgery). In the wake of the prostate news, a startling revelation about Charles' future came out, courtesy of a previous employee of the royal family.

According to Paul Burrell, former butler of the late Princess Diana, the king has a 10-year abdication plan in place. The famously chatty butler has the insider's knowledge that Charles allegedly wants to take it easy as he and his wife approach their 80s. "I don't think he will want to continue being king when crowned heads of Europe have found that they can hand over to their heirs and see them become monarch and enjoy it," Burrell told the New York Post

Princess Diana's friend went on to say that Charles would likely follow in the footsteps of his father, the late Prince Philip. Burrell hinted that the monarch desires to live out the remainder of his years in peace after his long stint of public service. "I think the country will embrace a new, young king and queen and it will complete the circle that Diana's son will be king," Burrell added.

His cancer diagnosis puts the spotlight on William

Another sign that King Charles III could be preparing to abdicate the throne lies in the announcement that Buckingham Palace released to the public about his cancer diagnosis. In the statement, the palace lessened the public's fears that the cancer was an immediate threat. It also offered some insight into Charles' plans for the future. According to the palace, he plans to continue with all state business and the signing of official paperwork as required. 

However, Charles will be abstaining from participating in other duties typical for a monarch. "His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties," the palace declared. Charles is expected to return to such duties after his treatments, but no timeline was given for when that might be.

The pressure is on with the king taking a much-needed health respite and other royals, such as Prince Harry, Prince Andrew, and Kate Middleton stuck on the sidelines for now. Eric Schiffer, the chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, informed Business Insider that future monarch Prince William, in particular, will have more responsibility than ever. Thus, Charles' eldest son could soon prove himself more than ready to sit on the throne.

People want King Charles to abdicate the throne

Before King Charles III had even received his diagnosis, plenty of people were already calling for the British ruler to step away from the throne. Some social media users pointed out that Charles has been looking weaker in recent years and cited that as their reason for wanting him to abdicate the throne. "I'm guessing he's already been undergoing chemo for a bit," one user on X, formerly known as Twitter, commented. "He really should probably #abdicate. It's abundantly clear that #princewilliam is ready."

It's not just social media that wants Charles out either. Big-name politicians and commentators have also made it known that they think the best thing His Majesty can do for the future of the monarchy is to choose abdication. Former Labour Party member Stephen Pound reckons the king should relinquish his hold on the crown so a new era can be ushered in, guided by his sure hand. 

"Let's give the monarchy an injection for the future. Let's give them a restart. Let's kick-start the monarchy," he asserted to GB News, pointing out how positive it would be for Charles to lead the charge (via Newsweek). If he were to abdicate, the king would be following in the footsteps of Queen Margrethe II, of Denmark, who stepped down from the throne on January 14, 2024.