Did you know that Queen Elizabeth II officially became the longest-ruling British monarch back in 2015? It's true. Queen Elizabeth has been on the throne for more than 65 years — surpassing her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria — on Sept. 9, 2015. Obviously, there hasn't been a need to worry too much about royal succession for quite some time now. However, with each new generation of the royal family, things do get shuffled around a bit because the line of succession follows the eldest child. So when will Prince George become king? Chances are, it won't be for quite some time.
Queen Elizabeth has been ruling since 1952 — when her father, King George VI, died at age 56, Time reported. As The Sun reported, Queen Elizabeth will remain the reigning monarch until she abdicates, retires, or dies. After one of these events happens, the next in line would be Queen Elizabeth's eldest son, Prince Charles, followed by: Prince William, Prince George, Prince Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry, and then any children of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. So that leaves Prince George currently sitting as third in line to the British throne — which pretty much guarantees he'll be king at some point. But when? That's the real question, and it's hard to say.
Queen Elizabeth, 92, hasn't publicly revealed any plans for abdication. Yet, it's looking as if that could be a real possibility, the Daily Mail reported. It's the queen's age that has prompted her to have plans in the works. According to the Daily Mail:
Palace sources have indicated that the Queen has told her inner circle that, if she is still on the throne at the age of 95, she will ask for a piece of legislation called the Regency Act to come into force — granting her eldest son full power to reign even while she still lives.
However, one theory that keeps popping up again and again is the thought that Queen Elizabeth might actually skip over her eldest son, Prince Charles — and instead choose Prince William as next in line for the throne. Except, as People pointed out, this is simply false; the queen doesn't have this sort of power. The 1701 Act of Settlement is the act of Parliament that determines who takes the throne next, according to the publication. And it stipulates that the heir must be his/her direct successor. That means Parliament would have to initiate a change in the law that would allow Prince Charles to be "skipped" — and it would be neither quick, nor easy.
So barring an untimely death, Prince Charles will definitely be the next ruler, followed by Prince William. Let's just assume that Prince William, 35, is genetically blessed with his grandmother's longevity. Let' say he lives until 90; that would put Prince George — who turns 5 in July — at nearly 60. And you might want to sit down for this one, but it would also make the year 2073. Of course, Prince George VI was only 56 when he died; so you never know what could happen with Prince William.
Here's the bottom line: Chances are, Prince George will have plenty of time to just be a kid before he has to worry too much about becoming king. He'll be able to attend college and perhaps serve in the British military, just as his father did. He should be able to start a family of his own, too, before being tasked with taking over the throne. Then again, if Prince Charles and Prince William die at earlier ages from illness or in tragic accidents, Prince George — like Queen Elizabeth — may find himself the reigning British monarch before his 30th birthday.