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The once and future king
The once and future king

Unlike his mother, who unexpectedly became queen at just 25 years old when her father, King George VI, died suddenly, 71-year-old Prince Charles has spent his entire life in preparation to wear the crown. He’s the longest waiting heir apparent and will be the oldest British monarch to ever take the throne – and it’s still uncertain when that will happen. Although Queen Elizabeth II is 93 years old and the longest-reigning British monarch ever, longevity runs in her family: her father may have died young, but her mother lived to the age of 101. But with recent reports asserting Prince Charles is now taking charge of the monarchy more than ever, could he become king sooner than expected? We explore the different scenarios that may play out when the beloved Queen dies – or maybe even before.

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