Queen ‘close’ to abdication as Prince Charles ‘running Royal Family’, expert claims

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QUEEN ELIZABETH II could soon abdicate to allows Prince Charles to take full control of the monarchy after “fundamentally running the Royal Family” for years, royal expert Richard Betherlson claimed.

Queen Elizabeth II has been dogged by persistent rumours of an upcoming retirement after Prince Charles was revealed to have played a key role in managing the fallout of Prince Andrew’s BBC Newsnight interview last month. The Queen, now 93, inherited the throne after the passing of her father, King George VI, in 1952 and has only recently started to scale down her public commitments to pass on some of her duties to other members of the Royal Family. But the response to the Duke of York’s interview sparked speculation suggesting Her Majesty may be soon retiring to pass on the crown to the Prince of Wales. 

Speaking to CTV News, royal expert Richard Bethelson said: “I myself felt that, after the Duke of Edinburgh retired at 95, it set the way and was a bit of a trial balloon for the Queen to follow suit in a few years.

“She’s about two years away from that now, the Duke of Edinburgh is 98.

“I think the Queen would, if she felt she couldn’t perform the duties to the full extent she would like to do, she would probably feel it would be appropriate for her to either make way for a regency or to out and out abdicate.”

Mr Berthelson suggested the ongoing scandal surrounding Prince Andrew could soon precipitate the abdication of the British monarch. 

He continued: “The incident with Prince Andrew – I think we may be closer to that.

“The situation has exposed the reality many of us have been saying for some time, since the Diamond Jubilee ended in 2012, that the Prince of Wales is fundamentally running the family now.

“He is fundamentally making all the major decisions, he has been delegated a lot of the travel, most of the ceremonial duties of the monarchy the Queen can delegate.”

The royal commentator claimed that having Prince Charles taking major decisions for the Royal Family without giving him a title to match his responsibilities. 

He added: “It would be an untenable situation if he were to be running the show more formally and in the more trickier situations and yet not hold the title – it does create a problem.

“If that is the case, and the Queen feels she can no longer do so, she would make way for him one way or another. She has, over the past five or six years, made way for the Prince of Wales to undertake her duties.”

Despite the growing reports of an incoming abdication, the Queen has long been believed to see her position as a lifelong commitment, stating in her first major speech as heir to the throne in 1947 her 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.

Her Majesty may also want to avoid a potential crisis as the one she witnessed when her uncle, King Edward VIII, became the last British sovereign to abdicate in order to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson in 1936. 

The sovereign could however opt to trigger the Regency Acts, which would allow Prince Charles to take on a majority of her duties while having the monarch keep her title. 

The Regency Acts are a series of laws that 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.

Prince Charles would become the first member of the Royal Family to become Prince Regent since the end of the reign of Prince George III in 1820.

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