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British Royal Family

There are calls for Prince William to become Prince Regent, but what exactly will that mean?

This move would see the Duke take a big step up, as his predecessors step back.

By Jess Pullar
If there's anything we've learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic, it's that the virus does not discriminate, so much so that even the world's most high ranking families are at risk.
Of course, when the pandemic kicked off, royal watchers immediately thought of the 94-year-old monarch and her 98-year-old husband Philip. They were quickly whisked to Windsor Castle, where they have remained in strict isolation since.
As for Prince Charles, the future King also falls into the high risk category being 71 years old - and fears heightened when he tested positive for the virus back in March.
Luckily, he has since recovered, but the scare has undoubtedly rattled many as the world continues to fight the spread of the virus.
So with the Queen and her first successor both isolating, that begs the question: What will the royal family look like over the next few months?
Well, it seems that fans have their own, very specific ideas about what that is.
What would it look like if Prince William and Duchess Catherine stepped up in their roles as royals in the coming months? (Getty)
A recent poll by Express online has found that a number of people are calling for the Prince to step up as Prince Regent amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The poll asked 762 readers: "With the Queen and Prince Charles both at high risk due to coronavirus, should Prince William become regent?"
A whopping 76 per cent of people answered yes to the question.
While the pool of those questioned is relatively small in the scheme of things, and it would be wise to take the calls with a grain of salt, it wouldn't be the most wild prospect for the Duke of Cambridge to step up during this turbulent time.
The royals have utilised the role of a Prince Regent before, with George III's reign seeing his son George IV step up as HRH The Prince Regent when his father fell ill.
Now, with both the Queen and Charles in the high-risk category during a global pandemic, would William stepping up as Prince Regent really be a viable option?
We look at how this might work.

What is a Prince Regent?

A Prince Regent is someone who rules a monarchy as its regent instead of being a monarch in itself.
To put it in simple terms, they take over the reigning King or Queen's duties, even if said King or Queen is still alive.
It generally occurs when a monarch is incapable of ruling, normally due to illness or an extended absence.
Public sentiment towards a Prince Regent is positive, according to a new poll. (Getty)

What does a Prince Regent do?

While the world has seen very few Prince Regents, they've certainly made an impression in history.
In fact, if you've ever been to London you'll likely be familiar with Regent's Park, Regent Street and Regent's Canal - all of which were named in honour of George VI when he took over from his father.
Essentially, their role is similar to the original Monarch in that they are the most senior member of the family, and would undertake duties and tasks usually undertaken by the ruling King or Queen.
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What would Prince William do as a Prince Regent?

There's no denying we've already seen Prince William take an immense step up in recent years in his role as a senior member of the royal family.
If he were to become Prince Regent, we'd likely see him take on even more than he is now.
From weekly calls with the Prime Minister, official statements and showing face at public events (when they are eventually allowed, post-isolation), the Duke of Cambridge would certainly keep very busy.
That said, there has been no hint from the Palace that this will occur right now.
Earlier this week, a report from the Sunday Times revealed that the Queen would be stepping back from her public royal duties for the foreseeable future while the pandemic continues.
But rest assured, she was still doing everything she could behind the scenes, including her weekly chats with PM Boris Johnson, and sharing statements and heading up various royal initiatives.
So public sentiment aside, it seems we've still got plenty more to come where our Queen is concerned - and we're looking forward to seeing whatever the future holds for the royal family.

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