As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Queen Elizabeth II passed away at her Balmoral estate in Scotland on Thursday.
Across the globe, the Queen is being mourned by millions who saw her not only as a beloved head of state but as a symbol of duty, perseverance, and the value of tradition in an ever-changing world.
In the wake of the Queen’s passing, her eldest son Charles became king and will henceforth be known as King Charles III.
It’s the usual fashion in which matters of succession are handled, but it seems that Charles’ new title may not have been a foregone conclusion.
At 73, Charles is not exactly the sort of vigorous young leader that helps restore enthusiasm for an institution that many feel has long outlived its usefulness.
These days, citizens of the UK are dealing with a cost of living crisis, and the idea of a lavish, tax-payer funded coronation ceremony for an elderly, widely-disliked leader is one that does not appeal to many.
Add to that the fact that Charles has long been a wildly unpopular figure — even among the monarchists who hope the royal family will thrive for centuries to come — and it’s not hard to see why other options may have been considered.
So rumors that there was talk of skipping over the heir apparent and crowning his eldest son, Prince William, are not exactly surprising.
And now, insiders are claiming that the disagreement over how to handle the succession once led to a deep rift between father and son.
“Both of them believe they will be the one who Elizabeth will name king,” a source close to the situation told Radar Online when the Queen first started to show signs of worsening health in 2019.
“And each of them has been pushing her to do so.”
Elizabeth was almost religiously devoted to the customs and traditions of her post throughout her long, extraordinary life, but insiders say she considered throwing “protocol out the window” because of Charles’ past behavior.
“She was disappointed in how he publicly bungled his marriage to first wife Diana and his marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles,” said a source.
The battle between Will and Charles reportedly began after visible bruising and other symptoms led to rumors that the Queen was quietly battling a serious health condition.
“The huge bruise was exposed as she posed for official photos with her guests, her hands clasped in front of her,” said one insider during an appearance by the Queen in 2019.
“In an elderly woman like her, bruising that’s not the result of trauma points to the loss of clotting component and indicates a blood cancer, like leukemia or lymphoma,” Dr. Gabriel Mirkin told Radar after examining the photos.
It’s unclear if William actually got close to skipping his father in the line of succession, but whatever the case, the matter has now been definitively resolved.
Shortly after the Queen’s passing, Charles issued his first official statement as king on Thursday.
“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” the message read.
“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms, and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world,” Charles continued.
“During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”
Hopefully, the royals can take some solace in the knowledge that their grief is shared by millions.