How to become the Prince of Wales

I think there could be another way to attain that title. You would need to purchase or build an island under no other nation’s territorial claims, name it Wales, and pronounce your father the King of Wales. (Defender of the Faith, Emperor of the Seven Seas, what-have-you)
Hopefully, the United Kingdom and the rest of the world will be good natured about the endeavor.


In answer to your question, in the United Kingdom the royal succession is determined by Parliament.

Up until the Stuart period, the theory was that the succession was determined strictly by primogeniture - descent through the eldest line. There were exceptions to that theory: Stephen, Henry IV, Henry VII come to mind.

Because of all the turmoil of the Stuart kings, culminating in James II fleeing the country, the new rule of parliamentary decision was established. After James II fled, the House of Commons and the House of Lords met. This was not a Parliament, since the king was not present. It’s been termed the Convention Parliament. The two houses voted to offer the throne to William and Mary, on the condition that they would agree to the Bill of Rights. William and Mary indicated that they would agree and accepted the throne, jointly, and then gave royal assent to the Bill of Rights.

This episode established that Parliament sets the rules for succesion, not simple primogeniture. Since that time, Parliament has only regulated the succession twice.

The first was the Act of Settlement in 1701 (I may have the year wrong - it’s late at night, but about that time). That Act established that upon Queen Anne’s death, the throne would pass to Sophia, Electress of Hanover, who was James I’s grandaughter, or to her heirs. Since Sophia pre-deceased Anne, her son George succeeded Anne.

The Act of Settlement also established the rule that no Roman Catholic, or person married to a Roman Catholic, can succeed to the throne.

The other time that Parliament regulated the succession was the Abdication Act in 1936, to recognize the abdication of King Edward VIII.

In other monarchical countries, it would depend on their own constitutions. For example, in Canada, changing the succession to the throne would require a constitutional amendment, passed by the Canadian Parliament and all the provincial legislatures.

and the stars o’erhead were dancing heel to toe

xtnjohnson - I think you meant to refer to William being Charles I’s grandson, not Charles II? Charles II had no lawful issue (which is not to say that he didn’t have issue - they didn’t call him the “Merry Monarch” for nothing.)

and the stars o’erhead were dancing heel to toe

In his column, Cecil says: “only one British ruler, Edward III, has taken the throne without the title since Edward I acquired it for the English royal family by killing the last Welsh Prince of Wales in 1282.”

I respectfully disagree with the Master. There are several examples of British monarchs who never held the title of Prince of Wales:

Henry IV - deposed Richard II; was Duke of Lancaster.

Edward IV - deposed Henry VI; was Duke of York.

Henry VII - deposed Richard III; was Earl of Richmond.

Mary I - succeeded her brother, Edward VI.

Elizabeth I - succeeded her sister, Mary I.

James I - succeeded Elizabeth; was King of Scotland.

James II - succeeded his brother, Charles II; was Duke of York.

William III and Mary II - succeeded James II by the Bill of Rights; were Statdholders in Holland.

Anne - succeeded William III.

George I - succeeded Anne; was Elector of Hanover.

William IV - succeeded his brother, George IV; was Duke of Clarence.

Victoria - succeeded William IV, her uncle.

George VI - succeeded Edward VIII on his abdication; was Duke of York.

Elizabeth II - succeeded her father, George VI.

and the stars o’erhead were dancing heel to toe

Forgot to include:

Richard III: deposed/succeeded his nephew, Edward V; was Duke of Gloucester.