Will the Queen abdicate? As Prince Charles takes on major duty, when will he be King?
YOU can never say never but there’s about as much chance of Harvey Weinstein winning the world’s top feminist prize this year as there is of the Queen abdicating. But will Prince Charles take on major duties if he becomes king?
The word is anathema to the 91-year-old monarch and her family after the 1936 crisis that saw her uncle, Edward VIII, step down from the throne and plunge the monarchy into chaos.
Elizabeth II has vowed to serve the United Kingdom and Commonwealth until her dying day. On her 21st birthday in April 1947 while on a tour of South Africa, the then Princess Elizabeth said in a speech broadcast from Cape Town: “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
Nothing has really changed for her since then.
Yet age is finally catching up with the Queen after 65 years on the throne, as the decision for her to no longer take part in the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph shows. It will be left to Prince Charles to lead the nation in honouring Britain’s war dead by laying the first wreath at the foot of Sir Edwin Lutyens’ monument in Whitehall from now on, while the Queen and 96-year-old Prince Philip watch the ceremony from a Foreign Office balcony.
The British monarchy, an institution that states one of its central aims is to provide a sense of continuity, has spent the past few years steadily trying to get the UK public and the rest of the world used to the idea that she won’t be around for ever.
The winds of change are sweeping through palace corridors. As courtiers oversee a gradual handover to Prince Charles and his sons, some courtiers have found their noses put out of joint amid tensions over the pace of change.
It’s a slightly jarring change, in contrast to the longheld view that the monarchy is in a way modelled on the design of a jar of Marmite: it changes dramatically over the years but so gradually that the change is almost imperceptible.
Now, however, a monarchy in transition means that increasingly, the Queen is stepping back from many of her duties and handing them over to her children and grandsons Princes William and Harry.
As she becomes frailer, her aides have been tailoring her programme to suit her capabilities. Engagements are shorter, long walks and steps are kept to a minimum.
She still does a remarkable amount for a woman of her age, including much paperwork and other duties away from the public eye. but these days she is completing only around 50 per cent of the workload she undertook when she was younger.
It’s been estimated by Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine, that around 70 per cent of her duties are also now undertaken inside royal residences. So the public sees less of her.
Where will it all end? It’s possible that at some point in the future, the Queen will be wheeled out for big state occasions – opening Parliament, Trooping the Colour, and state visits – and do little else in public. But those who know the monarch well insist it remains highly unlikely that she will ever step down voluntarily from the throne.
Her senior advisors have strongly denied suggestions that she plans to makes Charles the regent – the de facto monarch – when she reaches 95.
It’s possible that if she became too ill to perform her duties – perhaps as a result of dementia or some other illness – Charles might be created regent but there is no sign of any such health problems.
In the absence of serious illness, it’s likely that the Queen will soldier on until her final breath, gradually reducing her workload and handing over increasing responsibilities to Charles.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK
Tags: Prince William, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen, Final Breath, Workload