Does King Charles Plan to Abdicate the Throne in the Next 10 Years?

By: Georgia | Published: Feb 08, 2024

Paul Burrell, a former butler to Princess Diana, has made an interesting claim about the future of the British monarchy. He suggests that King Charles intends to abdicate the throne to his eldest son, Prince William, in 10 years. 

Burrell, who served Diana for more than a decade, shared insights into Charles’s plans, emphasizing a “10-year plan” before making way for William and Kate Middleton.

Charles's Approach to Monarchy and Abdication

The idea of abdication is not traditional in the British monarchy, yet Burrell explains to The New York Post that Charles is contemplating this move as part of a broader plan.

The Queen, wearing a pastel pink hat and matching outfit, is pictured with a bright smile next to Prince Charles, who is in a dark suit with a striped tie

Source: Getty Images

 “I think the king and queen have given this job 10 years,” he said, suggesting that Charles is preparing for a future where he steps down. This perspective is notably different from the Queen’s approach, influenced by her lifelong commitment to her role.

A New Era for the British Monarchy

Burrell believes the UK will welcome the change, anticipating the reign of a “new, young king and queen.” 

The Prince and Princess of Wales, alongside their three children, stand on a balcony. Prince William, in a navy suit, and Kate Middleton, in a bright pink dress, are positioned behind their children, with Prince George and Princess Charlotte in the foreground, and the younger Prince Louis partially visible

Source: Getty Images

He said to The New York Post, “I think the country will embrace a new, young king and queen.”

Inspiration from Other European Royals

The concept of abdication in favor of younger generations is not unprecedented in Europe. Burrell draws parallels with Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, who recently abdicated in favor of her son, Crown Prince Frederik, per The New York Post.

Queen Margrethe II is seated and smiling broadly, wearing a pearl necklace and matching earrings, with a regal tiara atop her head. She is dressed in an elegant green lace gown

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This move, according to Burrell, may inspire Charles, indicating a modern approach to royal succession that aligns with contemporary values and practices.

Predicting Charles's Abdication Timeline

The New York Post reports that Burrell speculates that Charles’s decision to abdicate could align with his reaching a certain age, mirroring the timing of Queen Margrethe’s abdication. 

A man is seated at a table, smiling at the camera during a book signing event. Next to him is a life-size poster featuring his own image and details of the event

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He suggests that when Charles reaches his 80s, he might step down.

William and Kate's Preparations for Future Roles

Looking towards the future, Burrell sees William and Kate preparing for their eventual roles as king and queen. 

The Prince and Princess of Wales, along with their three children, walk hand in hand. Kate Middleton, in a polka-dot dress, walks beside Prince George, who is in a school uniform, while Prince William, dressed in a suit, walks beside Princess Charlotte, also in a school uniform. The youngest, Prince Louis, walks between his parents, holding their hands

Source: Getty Images

He said to The New York Post, “In the autumn, if Kate’s health is well enough, I foresee a royal tour because the king and queen don’t like long-haul travel, so I see a tour to Canada or Australia for William and Kate.”


Kate Middleton's Central Role in the Monarchy

Burrell emphasizes Kate Middleton’s importance within the royal family, describing her to The New York Post as “too big an asset for the royals to lose.”

Prince Harry, Kate Middleton, and Prince William stand together during a ceremonial event. Prince Harry is dressed in a black military uniform adorned with medals, while Prince William is in a red ceremonial uniform with decorations. Kate Middleton is in between them

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Her role and influence are viewed as pivotal for the monarchy’s future, with her public engagements and charitable work contributing significantly to the royal family’s image and outreach.


The Unity of William and Kate

The strength and solidarity between William and Kate are highlighted by Burrell as key to their future success in royal duties.

Prince William, dressed in a red military uniform with a blue sash, and Kate Middleton, wearing a white lace wedding dress and veil, walk hand in hand. They both have broad smiles, and Kate is holding a bouquet of white flowers

Source: Getty Images

He said to The New York Post, “They are very together and consolidated.” Their combined efforts and shared vision are expected to guide the institution through upcoming transitions.


Charles's Dedication to Royal Duties

Burrell describes King Charles’s commitment to serving as monarch with a clear endpoint in mind.

King Charles is pictured in close-up, wearing a military dress uniform with a red cap band and gold braiding. His uniform is adorned with various medals and a blue sash

Source: Getty Images

“I think he will work hard for 10 years and then say it’s time for retirement,” he said to The New York Post, indicating a planned and dedicated approach to his reign before passing the baton to the next generation.


A Father's Pride in Succession

The transition of the crown from Charles to William is portrayed not just as a matter of royal protocol but as a deeply personal moment of pride for Charles. 

In a grand room adorned with golden wall sconces and an ornate painting, King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince William, and Catherine, Princess of Wales, stand side by side

Source: Getty Images

The New York Post reports that Burrell suggests that seeing his son ascend to the throne would be a fulfillment of King Charles’ hopes for the monarchy and his family.


Public Discourse on Abdication Grows

Newsweek reports a growing conversation among British media, including traditionally royalist outlets, on the possibility of King Charles abdicating.

King Charles and Queen Camilla, stand together smiling in a garden. King Charles is wearing a pinstriped suit, and Queen Camilla is in a simple blue dress. They are framed by green foliage and white flowers

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Notably, The Guardian published an op-ed encouraging Charles to announce his abdication timeline, inspired by Denmark’s royal precedent. 


Further Speculation on Charles's Abdication Timeline

The Daily Mail’s discussion with royal author Phil Dampier adds to the speculation, suggesting that King Charles might consider abdication within the next five to ten years.

King Charles is seen in close-up, wearing a blue pinstripe suit with a light blue tie

Source: Getty Images

Dampier’s comments consider factors such as Charles’ health and the desire to pass the monarchy to William and Kate at an opportune time. This speculation indicates a keen interest in the monarchy’s plans and the potential for a significant shift in royal succession.