Royal wedding: What next for William after the wedding?

Prince William in RAF uniform Prince William will be focusing on his career in the RAF

"William to be the next king", is a seductively attractive headline.

It offers freshness, youth and the prospect of a soon-to-be-married prince as a head of state in waiting.

Several opinion polls have suggested the son should replace the father at the front of the queue.

But royal succession isn't a beauty contest, or an episode of The X Factor. British citizens and subjects are observers of the process, not voters.

Constantine of Greece knows all about royal destiny. His time came, briefly, in the 1960s, before he was deposed in a military coup and his birthplace voted to become a republic.

Living in exile in London for decades, he has watched Prince William, his godson, grow up.

When the prince, who's an RAF search and rescue pilot, became engaged, the former king of Greece told the BBC he'd warned William in a letter that, "it was dangerous to fly a helicopter when you're in love.

"I said, 'Be careful, concentrate on that helicopter now and think of Catherine later on!'"

The ex-monarch is a stickler for the status quo. He doesn't believe William, who he describes as "a hell of a nice guy", should leapfrog Prince Charles.

Constantine said: "It works from father to son or mother to son and that's how it goes. They have to wait their turn… that's how it should be, because we are not politicians. We don't strive for that chair. The chair is there if it's needed."

'Madness to be king'

There are voices of dissent. One of the more surprising supporters of an abandonment of royal business-as-usual is former newspaper editor Sir Max Hastings.

An article he wrote about the Prince of Wales in the Daily Mail last year was headlined "Why I believe it would be madness for him to be king".

In an interview with the BBC, Sir Max suggested that the longer the Queen reigned, the more attractive a king William might become.

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After his marriage... Prince William won't be skulking around waiting for a vacant throne to occupy”

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"If time passes and Prince William is more and more at the centre of the stage, one question I think is bound to be asked," he said.

"Would it be in everybody's interests - including those of the Prince of Wales - for a new, young, next-generation Prince William to succeed to the throne? I think an enormous amount will depend on what seems to be the will of the British people."

The will of William is clear. He doesn't want to rock the Windsor boat.

He has a healthy grandmother, his father shows no sign of giving up on his long wait for what his ex-wife called "the top job", and he was born into an institution which is still scarred by the trauma of Edward's abdication.


After his marriage to Kate Middleton, Prince William won't be skulking around waiting for a vacant throne to occupy.

Ex-King Constantine of Greece said his godson was straightforward, hardworking and a "hell of a nice guy"

His focus will be on married life and his job on Anglesey with the RAF. He'll make more trips overseas representing an octogenarian monarch and he'll continue to work for his chosen charities.

These include Centrepoint, which helps young homeless people. At first glance it's an unlikely pairing - a prince in a palace aiding people who have no roof over their head.

Those who have seen William in action insist it's a mutually beneficial relationship.

Anthony Lawton was Centrepoint's chief executive when the son of Diana, Princess of Wales became its patron.

Diana introduced William and Harry to the plight of the homeless. Mr Lawton says getting the prince involved was his "biggest achievement" when he ran the charity.

Prince William with Centrepoint worker William slept rough in London as part of his involvement with homeless charity Centrepoint

He says William got stuck in from the outset - learning to cook his first lasagne - and he could relate to the young people he met because of their shared knowledge of popular culture.

The former chief executive insists the future king's interest is more than skin-deep, adding: "He does it because he really cares about it".

Another thing he cares about passionately is how his wife-to-be will cope as a senior member of a family like no other.

In the build-up to his wedding, there's one statistic which may just have given the prince pause for thought.

The government estimates the global television audience for the celebration will be two billion.

That's two billion people with possibly more than a passing interest in his peculiar existence.

Two billion people who may not be satisfied with a "now you see them, now you don't" approach to royal life in the coming months and years.

But that's precisely how Prince William wants to play it. He's sidling, not striding to embrace his destiny.

Caution - borne out of Diana's troubled life as a princess - is embedded in his DNA.

After the wedding there will be demands, possibly vocal ones, for William and Kate to be more and more on display.

These will be demands which William will be determined not to satisfy.

Peter Hunt, Diplomatic and royal correspondent Article written by Peter Hunt Peter Hunt Diplomatic and royal correspondent

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  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    Oh joy, yet another wedding related article, completely without merit and in want of a point. Cats have scratching posts, dogs have bones. Clearly the BBC are in need of a royal leg to hump!

    The unending stream of textual effluence flowing freely from BBC faux news is starting to stink the place up. You'd expect a little propaganda from a state sponsored broadcaster but not a tsunami of slops!

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about the Royals or the wedding, and hope to take advantage of the extra holiday and everyone else's interest by going fishing.

    Having said that, I find it interesting that having spent so long espousing the image of Harry and William as 'just normal guys who happen to be Royalty', this carefully crafted image is now being turned on its head..

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    the Prince of Wales were to give up the accession he would not only lose the income from his present post but would lose that from being King. It is enough that time should take it's course. It is not good the polticians and others should mess around with system. A move will come from the House of Windsor when they want to move on any of the issues being discussed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    Whilst I wish the couple well, what is the fuss about a prince marrying a commoner? In these austere times the cost cannot justified. Osborne tell us we have to cut back and then helps fund a wedding, gives aid to Pakistan & India.Get real, we are struggling to make ends meet.Spend our limited cash,in areas that matter & not some pageant. The brides dad should foot the bill and save our cash.

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    even as a Republican I feel sorry for the Windsors.
    they don't seem to be able to do anything without cameras snapping intimate pics or the general public speculating (see 22 Chezza - how does he know that!!)
    Best of luck to them - shame we are paying for it, shame they aren't paying the wages for the Bank Holiday they have imposed and a shame that the BBC see fit to ram it down our throats

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    We're lucky William even consents to be in the line of succession. It never seems like a good option for an individual to take on to me. As to being King next I think Williams needs to have some life with his wife to be where he can duck the public gaze for a few years. Good luck to them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    I honestly don't see, apart from some tourism, a few good deeds and some rather nice sausages, what the royals do for this country. I'm aware of what people think they do, i just don't agree it balances out the fact that there are people starving in the world whilst we have a family who live in luxury, pay little tax and cause as much scandal as any other 'celebrity' would. Hence no interest.

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    It isn't a question of the people choosing - but I am sure most of us would be delighted if Charles were to stand down, or HMQ were to live long enough that the question doesn't arise. From his profiteering Duchy products to his seven boiled eggs to his helicoptered in organic food, Charles looks like a hypocrite; to say nothing of his affairs with Camilla. He shouldn't be King.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    I am angry at the BBC for ramming this wedding nonsense down our throats.....
    I'm against the royals because they don't represent anything I stand for namely democracy, meritocracy, the triumph of reason over religion, equal opportunitys and yes not shooting animals for fun. By celebrating these utterly average, boring people you lessen the attention given to real heros and achievers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    No 28 Loony Liberal: the thought of any Loopy Dim whatever representing the UK on any topic makes me feel sick with apprehension.

    And "Republic" is just another name for "elective dictatorship". No thanks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    In response to the Diana-worshippers, Charles did not choose her, she was chosen for him, neither of them liked the other from the word go. Still surprised it broke up? You would need a heart of stone not to laugh at the memory of those mascara-streaked eyes squinting out of the TV screen!

    BTW I disagree totally with HRH about AGW, mainly because the evidence is so biassed it isn't true.

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    I would like to see Prince Charles as the next King. I have always liked him. I think it is great that he is willing to speak out about things he would like changed - ugly modern buildings for example. I agree with him. I think the media made far too much of the breakdown of his first marriage. He has a vast amount of knowledge plus a lot of integrity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    Prince Philip is a nice guy and never lets the public down with his off the cuff comments, Charles it a bit the same, i think a bit of eccentricity is good. William at the moment is a bit too perfect, he needs to mellow out a bit and realise that apart from State occasions the main job of Royals is to relieve the tedium of politics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    The thought of Charles representing the UK is truly frightening. I'd feel more comfortable with Boris being trusted with democratic peace talks between us and Iran.

    Why are people so afraid of a Republic? At least that way you can choose who represents you on a global stage.

    Surely by that token people against a Republic would gladly give up their vote in return for a totalitarian state? No?

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    William will make a great king, and is perhaps better suited to the role than his father. But to appoint him as King instead of Prince Charles, would really shake the foundations of the monarchy. If you start choosing monarchs rather than inherit them, why would you have a monarchy in the first place? So, assuming that the monarchy is a given, William will just have to wait for his turn.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    Who cares - the Monarchy is largely symbolic.
    It would be interesting if the Monarchy did try to veto any decisions by the democratically elected Government - what would happen - if it was against the will of the majority- probably the end of the Monarchy.

    What would be interesting is do we get value for our Money from the Monarchy - probably yes through Tourism alone.

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    Prince Charles is not dotty. He is a clever, sensitive man, ahead of his time regarding climate change, who has contributed greatly via the Princes Trust. Despite the scathing criticism, especially after the death of Diana, he has succeeded in raising two sons who are a credit to him, their family and our country. He deserves the right to achieve his destiny as does William at the right time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    William will one day ascend the throne as a brand new form of British Monarch, a true monarch that considers the ways and lifestyles of the British Public. One of the images in this article sums him up as a whole; the image "William slept rough in London as part of his involvement with homeless charity Centrepoint" shows his likeness to that of his mother and that is something to truly be proud of

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    To those who want our head of state to be chosen democratically: fair enough, but why not keep the monarchy and elect the monarch? We as a nation (and millions of tourists with money to burn) love the pomp and ceremony and the quaint old traditions, costumes and language. Having a President is just so unexciting by comparison. An elected monarch would combine the best of both worlds.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    William will only be the next King if Charles abdicates - which I very much doubt.

    I expect next after the wedding will be a promotion at work or fatherhood - I think William & Katherine will announce pregnancy by Christmas.


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