The Real Reason This Expert Thinks Prince Charles May Not Become King

A feature in the May 2021 issue of Vanity Fair delves into the estrangement between Prince Charles' sons, Princes William and Prince Harry, and how the whole "Megxit" affair and Oprah Winfrey tell-all interview have revealed the weaknesses within the monarchy. 

The author quotes sources that compare Meghan Markle to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana as both were outsiders whose style and charm threatened to take attention away from the senior royals; both were also reportedly snubbed by the palace because of it. 

Though Harry and Meghan chose to deal with the pressure by bowing out of royal duties and moving to the U.S., the damage was done. The allegations of racism within the royal family, per Vanity Fair, stand as a reminder that the monarchy has a long history of colonizing lands with indigenous populations. For instance, 2012 photos of Prince William and Kate Middleton being carried on throne by Solomon Islanders in cultural costumes now seem tone deaf in retrospect.

With that in mind, experts are predicting that we may be witnessing the beginning of the end of the British monarchy as we know it.

The palace may not be the same after Queen Elizabeth

British podcaster Kelechi Okafor told Vanity Fair, "The queen is a figurehead for an empire that refuses to understand that its days are gone. Diana came along ... and then Meghan Markle came along, and everything started to fall to pieces."

Other experts agreed that it may not be business-as-usual when the crown is handed down. Queen Elizabeth, who turned 95 on April 21, will (sadly) not be reigning much longer, and not everyone is thrilled about the prospect of a King Charles III. The prince's infamous betrayal of the beloved Princess Diana still doesn't sit well with the public, and his strained relationship with younger son Prince Harry stands in sharp contrast to the queen's warm one with all her children and grandchildren. That, combined with the monarchy's tarnished image, may result in big changes in the next few years.

"I'm not 100 percent sure that we will see Charles ascend to the throne," royal historian Anna Pasternak told the outlet. "The Sussexes have sparked something so fundamentally incendiary in this country that it is changing the face of Britain, and I think the monarchy as an archaic institution may well topple." Other experts opined that pressure from the public may prompt The Firm to have Prince William – with his youth and more modern attitude – ascend. Another expert suggested that the whole system may shift to resemble the more subdued monarchies in Scandinavian countries like Sweden.

Prince Charles has not endeared himself to the British public

While Prince Charles may be the longest heir apparent to the crown in British history, he hasn't exactly been able to make use of his time as Prince of Wales to endear himself to the public. In fact, quite the opposite is true, and even though Queen Elizabeth is 95 years old, and Charles is closer to the throne than he ever has been, his popularity continues to take a beating. Meanwhile, Prince William's popularity is soaring. As royal watcher and author Clive Irving told Sky News Australia in January, "You want a reinvigorating, generational change, which he [Charles] isn't ... The polling shows that William is already up by 40 percent favorable polling... Charles is down to about 32 percent, which is embarrassing," Irving said (via Express). And these popularity rankings were changing long before the death of Prince Philip and the bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview with Harry and Meghan.

"With the Queen gone, think that anyone under 40 is more and more going to ask questions ... They'll think, 'what's the point of having this crew around anymore? The royals would have to justify their existence far more rigorously than they've had to so far," Irving said. 

Prince Charles is still struggling to overcome the failings of his marriage to Princess Diana

Prince Charles doesn't just have a rival in his oldest son, he is still battling the ghost of his ex-wife Diana, Princess of Wales (via Reader's Digest). The problems within their marriage — as well as the role that Charles' current wife Camilla had in it, recently came back into the spotlight, thanks to the popular Netflix series "The Crown." In Style points out that while the show does stick to the facts for the most part, it is still a fictionalized account of the goings on within the House of Windsor, so it stands to reason that there are probably a few exaggerations thrown in for dramatic effect. Still,"The Crown's" narrative has triggered fans so much that they began going after Charles and Camilla on social media.

With all the chips stacked against Prince Charles, it is difficult to see him ascending to the throne without major difficulties, but then again it's equally difficult for us to see him step aside in Prince William's favor. And while we may not be keen to wait around to see what happens next, that's exactly what we are going to have to do.