Prince Charles is the next-in-line to throne and will become head of state when the Queen passes away. The Prince of Wales, 72, has been the longest King-in-waiting following the historic reign of 68 years and counting of his 94-year-old mother.
This has since prompted royal historians to speculate as to whether Charles would consider handing over the royal baton to his eldest son William, 38, rather than becoming King himself.
University College London’s Constitution Unit, a wing of the School of Public Policy, said: “Having waited over 60 years as heir apparent, it would be perfectly natural for Prince Charles to want to assume the throne and perform the royal duties for which he has spent so long preparing in waiting.
“But it would be equally natural if, after reigning for a few years as an increasingly elderly monarch, he chose to invite Parliament to hand on the throne to Prince William.”
A subsequent poll of more than 4,000 Express.co.uk readers has found the vast majority are in favour of Charles stepping aside for Prince William to take over.
The survey carried out on January 9 from 10.24am to 8.30pm asked 4,784 online readers, should Prince Charles stand aside for William to become King?
The results found 61 percent (2,905 readers) supported the proposal and voted “yes”.
Just 38 percent (1,825 readers) were against the idea and voted “no”.
Meanwhile, the remaining one percent (54 readers) remained unsure and said they did not know.
Only once in British history has a monarch abdicated – the Queen’s uncle in 1936.
King Edward VIII stepped down in order to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson, as she was a divorcée he was not allowed to marry her otherwise.
The Queen became the UK’s longest-serving monarch on September 9, 2015, after she surpassed the record of 63 years, seven months and two days set by Queen Victoria.
Prince Charles became heir apparent at the tender age of three when his mother, then Princess Elizabeth, acceded to the throne following the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952.
In 2011, the Prince of Wales broke the previous heir apparent record of 59 years, two months and 13 days, set by his great-great-grandfather, King Edward VII.