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Could Charles III, suffering from cancer, abdicate?

Charles III leaves a London clinic after prostate surgery. (London, January 29, 2024).
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Less than a year and a half after succeeding his mother, Elizabeth II, Charles III announced that he was suffering from cancer. It is expected that he will stay away from public life for an unknown period of time. But is his resignation possible?

Charles III is suffering from cancer. Buckingham Palace announced this in an official press release on Monday, February 5. Although we do not know exactly what type of pathology he was diagnosed with, it will not be related to the surgery he underwent for benign prostatic hypertrophy in late January. The fact remains that, according to medical instructions, the King of England will stay away from public life for an unknown period of time.

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Since then, the kingdom has been thinking. After waiting so many years to ascend the throne of England, will Charles III give it up and abdicate? If Buckingham Palace is to be believed, the answer is no. Not anytime soon anyway. “[Sa Majesté] remains very optimistic about his treatment and expects to return to public office as soon as possible,” it said. declaration was released earlier this week. The 75-year-old sovereign will not completely stop his activities as the head of the United Kingdom, as well as 14 other Commonwealth countries. During the treatment, he will continue to supervise state affairs.

Against tradition

Speculations that he may give way to his eldest son, Prince William, who is younger and more famous, are therefore futile. Already because the idea of ​​abdicating would threaten the respect and authority of the monarchical institution. The word “abdication” is, so to speak, contrary to British tradition. Cursed, even, because in 1936 Edward VIII decided to abdicate his royal duties after less than a year on the throne to marry and divorce American Wallis Simpson. Only the case of sovereign incapacity, defined in the Regency Act of 1811 (just when George III, insane, had been replaced by his son), formally provided for the removal of the monarch in favor of the first adult. order of succession.

On the other hand, abdication would be undesirable from an institutional point of view. And for good reason, at his coronation in May, Charles pledged to “serve his country and the Commonwealth throughout his life”. An oath made by her mother, Elizabeth II, which she honored until her death on September 8, 2022, despite health problems. Charles III should do the same.

Source: Le Figaro

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