Last in line: This royal would become Queen if 4,972 die

Boston: Prince Charles may have been waiting a record 59 years as heir apparent to the British throne but Karin Vogel, the last in the line of succession, will have to wait for nearly 5,000 royals to die for her to become the Queen of England.

Vogel, 38, is a direct descendant of Sophia of Hanover, an obscure German princess from the 18th century.

She is the last person in line to the British crown and will become queen only after 4,972 others in queue die.

Sophia is Vogel`s great-times-eight-grandmother.

A therapist at a hospital in the east German city of Rostock, Vogel says she is happy she would not be burdened with the responsibility of ruling over England and 16 sovereign states anytime soon in the future.

"I can lean back and relax," she said in an interview to the Wall Street Journal.

"It is really very comforting that one doesn`t have to worry about Great Britain" adding it is "too stressful" to be Queen.

Vogel says she also does not care much for castles, which she thinks are "dark and cold."

She had not gone to Buckingham Palace on her first and only trip to the UK in 2001.

Sophia of Hanover was selected by the English Parliament in 1701 to inherit the crown, the Wall Street report said.

"Sophia`s genes have dictated the succession ever since...By the account of some genealogists, Vogel is the last person in line to the throne."

The royal family and UK do not publish an official chart tracking Sophia of Hanover`s living descendants. The royal family`s website lists the first 38 successors but does not name the rest.

Vogel`s long wait to succession to the throne is corroborated by American genealogy hobbyist Daniel Willis of Colorado, who spent about 18 years documenting the descendants of Sophia`s son, George I, for a 2002 book.

A computer technician at the Library of Congress, Bill Reitwiesner had also compiled a list of living heirs to the throne in 2001.

The list includes several other royal families from around Europe, which are connected by marriage.

"In the process, Willis and Reitwiesner both reached the same conclusion: Vogel is at the bottom of the regal heap," the Wall Street Journal report said.

The UK succession rules date back to the 1701 Act of Settlement.

The English Parliament wanted to prevent a Catholic to sit on the throne after the death of Princess Anne, who was a Protestant and destined to die without an heir.

The Act of Settlement bequeathed the crown to Anne`s closest Protestant relative, Sophia of Hanover, and all her non-Catholic descendants.

"Those rules still stand today. According to the law, for a person to be in line for the throne, he or she must be an `heir to the body` of Sophia of Hanover," the report said. Vogel`s family lineage descends through Germany`s royal House of Wurttemberg.

Her 81-year-old mother, Ilse, who once was last in line herself, says the family always "knew there was a connection to the British royals but didn`t know about how it ranked in the line of succession."

Vogel said she would watch "reruns" of the April 29 marriage of Prince William, second in line to the throne, and Kate Middleton since she does not have a TV.

PTI

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