Lately, gamblers are betting on the possibility that Queen Elizabeth II will abdicate the throne this year and pass it over to her son and successor, Prince Charles. Given this likelihood, a new question now arises — is the Prince of Wales ready to be king?

Of course the answer to that question depends on whom to ask. For Prince Charles’ supporters, the answer will be a resounding yes as he really is the heir to the throne. On the other hand, there will always be those who will doubt him, which is not unusual, considering that he is a bit on the unpopular side compared to the rest of the royal family members.

But there is one thing that Prince Charles has that other heirs do not — he’s had plenty of time to prepare. In fact, he is the “longest-serving heir apparent in British history.” He has been waiting to ascend the throne since Queen Elizabeth II started her reign in 1952. That’s more than six decades of waiting. And by now, it is safe to conclude that Prince Charles has since learned all the tricks of the trade needed to successfully run the monarchy.

Speaking of the monarchy, all indications point to the fact that the institution is hell-bent in giving its all to support Prince Charles. For instance, experts noted that Queen Elizabeth II is slowly scaling back her duties and passing them to her son, an indication that Her Majesty is now preparing the way for the Prince of Wales’ ascension to the throne.

Since 2015, Her Majesty has already stopped making official trips abroad, a duty that is now being handled by Prince Charles. In addition, the latter also stepped up his public exposure and carried an astounding 507 engagements in 2018.

Prince Charles also indicated that he is willing to make concessions to assure a smooth turnover of power. Unlike the Queen, who is known for maintaining political neutrality, Prince Charles has actively advocated a few causes in the past. However, he now promised to cease being a “political dissident” and to maintain neutrality when he becomes king.

His detractors can make all the noise they can, but there’s nothing they can do to stop Charles’ ascension to the throne. After all, the position of the British monarch is not a popularity contest. But there is one thing that the anti-Charles can look forward to — his reign is likely to be short, as pointed out by James O'Malley on Quora.

“If Charles is horrendously unpopular, people will simply console themselves that William and George will follow him in due course — Charles is an OAP already, so his reign will be fairly short,” O-Malley noted. “In fact, already the PR is in overdrive to ensure William and his young family are popular — they are as yet unsullied by any major scandal.”

Prince Charles Britain's Prince Charles kisses Lady Sarah McCorquiodale, while her sister Lady Jane Fellowes looks on at RAF Northolt Airport near London, 31 AUG, following the arrival of Charles and the casket containing the body of his former wife, Diana. MARTIN HAYHOW/AFP/Getty Images