Queen may 'seriously consider' passing on crown to Charles after 95th birthday following Philip's death: Source
According to royal succession rules, the queen cannot retire without abdicating the throne but if she so desires, she can stop all of her royal duties and responsibilities should her health become a concern
Given that Queen Elizabeth, who turned 95 on Wednesday, April 21, will be spending her birthday mourning her late husband Prince Philip, it should not come as a surprise to fans of the royal family that she is "seriously" considering passing on the crown to her son, Prince Charles, who is next in line to be king.
A former senior member of the royal household told royal correspondent Robert Jobson: “Her majesty is mindful of her age and wants to make sure when the time comes, the transition of the crown is seamless. I understand the Queen has given the matter considerable thought and believes that, if she is still alive at 95, she will seriously consider passing the reign to Charles.”
However, according to royal succession rules, the queen cannot retire without abdicating the throne but if she so desires, she can stop all of her royal duties and responsibilities should her health become a concern. Under the circumstances that the monarch is too sick or weak to carry out her duties, a regent would step in as a placeholder, which in this case would be the Prince of Wales. As first in line to the British throne, Charles would carry out his mother’s responsibilities until she dies and he is officially recognized as the King.
Rumors of queen's abdication
Rumors of the queen possibly abdicating her throne have been floating since last year. It was speculated that the queen could consider a regency by allowing Charles to become a stand-in or acting sovereign after she turns 95. The Regency in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was famously a period at the end of the Georgian era, when King George III was deemed unfit to rule due to his illness, and his son ruled as his proxy, as prince regent. Traditionally, however, the heir-apparent to the throne becomes the ruler only after the ruling monarch dies.
However, the rumors were quickly shut down as experts noted that the Queen will most probably not be stepping down from her royal duties since she notably 'pledged' her life to the Commonwealth on her 21st birthday. She referred to her role as the Queen of England as a “job for life”. “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,” she said during her tour of South Africa in 1947.
She was also seen carrying out her official duties while Philip was in the hospital for four weeks earlier this year. One of the possibilities is that the public would see the Queen delegate more official tasks to Charles and other members of the royal family following her husband's death.
What are the royal experts saying?
Royal experts also said that the queen was unlikely to abdicate the throne as she was not suffering from any serious health issues other than old age. “I can assure you the queen will not abdicate,” royal historian Hugo Vickers told Reuters. “There is every indication the queen is in extremely good health and with luck she will continue to be our queen for as long as possible.”
Joe Little, the managing editor of Majesty magazine, said he expected the queen to rule until at least her Platinum Jubilee in 2022. “I suppose one way of looking at it was she was very fortunate to have the duke for so long. But I think as far as she’s concerned as monarch it will be very much business as usual after this brief period of mourning," he said.