Currently the rightful heir to the British throne is Prince Charles. For many years, there has been speculation though, that he will not succeed his mother.
Since Charles' all too public divorce and long standing affair with Camilla Parker Bowles things have changed somewhat. Although now lawfully married to Camilla, the couple are not as popular as perhaps the Royals may wish.
Yes, the British people seem to have accepted Charles and Camilla and most have forgiven what they saw as Diana's poor treatment. However, Charles and Camilla these days appear like a staid, old married couple.
There is nothing wrong with that but there is when it comes to the public.
As the head of state for the UK, and the remaining Commonwealth Countries, people look for charisma, warmth, personality and honesty. Sadly, Charles and Camilla do not have a good track record on any of these.
Queen Elizabeth 2nd
I guess that also part of the problem is, that Queen Elizabeth will be a hard act to follow. Having ruled for so many years, almost all of my 57 years on this planet, she is familiar and accepted. When she first became Queen, she had youth on her side but her longevity has prevented that being the case for Charles.
Prince William is the oldest son of Charles and Diana. As such, he benefits from some of his father's noble bearing but touched with Diana's grace, personality, charm, looks and warmth. All of these qualities have ensured that he is a popular Royal.
Visiting New Zealand.
Prince William visited New Zealand in early January 2010 and many believe it is part of his grooming, for the role of King of England. Even if this is true, it may not be an unpopular decision with Charles. In many ways he seems like the sort of man who likes his own space and, perhaps, such a role in his later life, will be no good for him or the country.
However, others have felt that maybe William was chosen for the visit for many other reasons. Australia and New Zealand have many residents who would prefer to break any Royal links with the UK. As William is such a popular person perhaps he can portray the likeable side of British royalty.
Sooner or later some one will have to take over the leading role in the British royalty. If the Queen lives the extended years that her Mum did perhaps it will be William's son taking over.
However, one assumes that somewhere along the line the Queen will retire. If that is going to be the case, the timing is important, as is her successor.
Maybe the days of Charles are long gone. Perhaps at certain times in the past he would have made a great King. Who knows maybe he still could.
However, overall I feel it may be King Charles is dead long live King William.