The Queen Is ‘Preparing’ Charles & William to ‘Take Over’ the Throne After Her ‘Health Scare’

Prince William, Queen Elizabeth
Photo: AP Images.

Next steps. Prince Charles and Prince William’s response to the Queen’s health concerns shows how “concerned” the British royal family are about what could happen to their monarch.

Buckingham Palace announced on October 20 that the Queen had cancelled her trip to Northern Ireland due to “medical advice” from her doctors. “The Queen has reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days,” the statement read. “Her Majesty is in good spirits and is disappointed that she will no longer be able to visit Northern Ireland, where she had been due to undertake a series of engagements today and tomorrow.”

A day later, royal writer Omid Scobie reported the Queen spent the night in the hospital on October 20. Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Queen was hospitalized for one night and underwent “preliminary investigations” while she was in the hospital.

A source told Us Weekly on October 27 that the Queen is “preparing” Charles and William to “take over” the throne should something happen to her. “She’s not a quitter and will continue working but is handing over some of her duties to Charles and William,” the insider said. “[She] is preparing them to take over.”

The source also noted that William’s wife, Kate Middleton, and the Queen have been “talking more than ever since [the] health scare,” According to the insider, Kate has “a special bond with the queen” and often connects with her over “one-on-one phone conversations.” The source also reported that Kate and her children—Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3—sent the Queen flowers and cards when the monarch returned from the hospital “Kate sent the queen a huge bouquet of flowers from her family,” the insider said. “George, Charlotte and Louis made ‘get well soon’ cards.”

As for the Queen’s current condition, the source reported that the Queen feels “fine” but her family is still “concerned.” “The queen says she’s fine and doing well, but she’s said that before, so naturally [the family is] concerned,” the insider said. “They’d been urging her to take it easy for months.” The insider also noted that the Queen likes to be on a busy schedule “because she hates people fussing over her.”

Another told Us Weekly on October 27 that William’s younger brother, Prince Harry, feels “helpless” that he and his wife, Meghan Markle, are thousands of miles away from the Queen in the United States as she recovers from her health concerns. “He felt helpless being 5,000 miles away in Montecito and has been checking-in non-stop with her,” the insider said.

The source also noted that Harry still “feels guilty about not saying goodbye” in person to his grandfather, Prince Philip, who died at the age of 99 in April. “[He] would never forgive himself if the same thing happened with his beloved grandmother,” the insider said. The source claimed that Harry and Meghan are planning to return to the United Kingdom for the holidays with their children, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 4 months. “[Harry is] hoping to go back home for Christmas with Meghan, if not before so that [the Queen] can finally get to meet Lilibet and see Archie again,” the insider said.

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch

Image: Courtesy of Random House.


For more about the British royal family, check out Sally Bedell Smith’s 2012 biography, Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch. The New York Times bestseller, which includes the “real story” behind several storylines featured in Netflix’s The Crown, follows Queen Elizabeth II’s life from her childhood as the “heiress presumptive” to her father, King George VI; to the moment he et her husband, Prince Philip, when she was 13 years old; to her ascension to the throne at 25 years old in 1952. Elizabeth the Queen, which also includes interviews with Buckingham Palace sources and never-before-revealed documents, provides a deep dive into the Queen’s legacy as one of the most famous monarchs in recent history.

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