Prince William Could Abdicate Some Day for Prince George to Reign Longer, Andrew Morton Suggests

European monarchs regularly abdicate instead of reigning their whole life.

prince george
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Andrew Morton, author of Diana: Her True Story - In Her Own Words (which you might have heard of from a little show called The Crown), is preparing for the release of his new book, The Queen: Her Life on Nov. 15.

To mark this new release, Morton speaks to Marie Claire about the kind of monarchy Queen Elizabeth II left behind after she sadly passed away on Sept. 8.

In the book, Morton emphasizes that the young Princess Elizabeth wished she could escape her regal destiny, which followed the abdication of her uncle King Edward VIII (later the Duke of Windsor) in favor of her father, King George VI.

"Every night when she went to bed, she prayed that her parents would produce a brother, so that he would take on the role of King," the biographer tells Marie Claire.

"Her ambition was to live in the countryside with dogs, horses and children."

Prince William, In Countryman Outfit Of Tweed Cap And Waxed Jacket And With His Hands In His Pockets, Visits Duchy Home Farm With Prince Charles Who Is Holding A Shepherd's Crook Walking Stick

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham / Getty)

Asked whether King Charles and Prince William can also be seen as reluctant royals, Morton says, "I think Charles has waited long enough, I think he has some ideas for the monarchy that he wants to put into effect, so I wouldn't say that he's reluctant at all."

On the other hand, the author wonders whether Prince William might want to abdicate in favor of his eldest son, so that Prince George doesn't have to wait as long as Charles did to become King.

"I think William has always seen it as a job as opposed to a calling, and I'd be interested—if we all live that long—that when George becomes King, whether William will abdicate, and give his son his middle years, as it were, to reign," Morton hypothesizes.

While abdication remains a famously "dirty word" in Britain in the aftermath of the Duke of Windsor's abdication, monarchs in other European nations have been known to cede the place to their younger offspring, which often serves to revive interest in the monarchy.

"Spanish, Dutch, even the Pope all abdicated," Morton says.

"Unfortunately, in Britain, abdication is a dirty word after Edward VIII, but given the fact that for the foreseeable future, it's going to be a male monarchy, it's going to be Kings and they're not going to become Kings until they're pensioners, it doesn't quite have the glamour of youth.

"I think that when Juan Carlos left under a cloud, nonetheless King Felipe and Queen Letizia have a youth and a glamour that always makes monarchy appealing. I mean, you know, people like to look at frocks."

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.