Cruel and paradoxical though it undoubtedly is, the record shows that yje most succesful 20th century monarchs have been those who were not actually born to succeed. King George VI was 41 when the abdication of Edward VIII propelled him suddenly and unexpectedly to take up the crown; and Queen Elizabeth II spent her first decade with no inkling thay she herself might one day have to reign. Taken together, these examples suggest that the best preparation for the job of sovereign is not to be prepared for it at all, ir not to be too well prepared for it, or for too long.