The Queen has been known to consider her role of monarch as a lifelong commitment and is believed to be planning to remain on the throne until the day she dies. Over the past few years, an increasing number of kings and queens across Europe have given up their crowns in favour of their first direct descendants, sparking speculation the Queen may choose to do the same. But royal expert Moniek Bloks suggested the monarch could choose to simply have Prince Charles assume more power by giving him a new title.
Speaking to the Royal Central podcast, Ms Bloks said: “I think if anything happens, it’s more likely she’ll make Charles regent instead of completely abdicating.
“I think it’s very unlikely that she will abdicate.”
As regent, Prince Charles would assume the majority of duties Queen Elizabeth II currently carries out but would not be crowned king until the passing of his mother.
The last regency in the UK took place between 1811 and 1820, when future King George IV took over control from his father George III.
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The sovereign would be able to make the Prince of Wales a prince-regent by triggering the Regency Acts, a series of laws which dictate the rules to remove powers from the monarch to an appointed member of the Royal Family in the event of the Queen being unable to carry out her duties.
The latest version of the acts was drafted in 1937 to set out plans for a regency in the event of then-Princess Elizabeth inheriting the crown from her father, George VI, while still underage.
According to the Regency Act of 1937 at least three people – including Prince Philip, the Chancellor and the Speaker of the House of Commons – would have to declare evidence provided proved “that the Sovereign is for some definite cause not available for the performance of those functions.”
While the Prince of Wales would take on the roles usually performed by the sovereign, the Duke of Edinburgh would become a guardian of the Queen.
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Royal author Robert Jobson said the Queen and Prince Charles are already in a “period of transition” whereby the sovereign is granting her son with more and more responsibility.
Mr Jobson said: “The Queen at her next birthday will be 93. She has not completed a long-haul state visit since 2011.
“Although the Prince of Wales has talked about there only being one sovereign at a time and that is true, what you do have is a bit of a dual monarchy at the moment and a transition that is ongoing.”
The Queen has been on the throne for 67 years and following her coronation she pledged to serve her people across the UK and the Commonwealth “throughout all my life and with all my heart.”
In her first speech since taking on the crown in 1953, the monarch said: “I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine.”
“I am sure that this, my Coronation, is not the symbol of a power and a splendour that are gone but a declaration of our hopes for the future, and for the years I may, by God’s Grace and Mercy, be given to reign and serve you as your Queen.