Queen Elizabeth will be 95 years old in just about 18 months, and the Daily Mail reported Wednesday that it is widely expected in British circles that the Queen will “retire” and hand over control of the day-to-day royal affairs to her eldest son Charles, Prince of Wales, who is the king-in-waiting.
At that point, Charles will assume the title of “Prince Regent” until such time that the Queen has died and he will then be named King and take on the titular control of the British monarchy.
Prince Charles to take control
The Sun reported that, according to a “well-placed royal source,” it was the disastrous BBC interview of Charles’ brother Prince Andrew, Duke of York, about his prior friendship with disgraced convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein that spurred Charles into stepping up and making a move to seize the reins from his aged mother.
“Planning for Charles to become king has been going on for some time. A transition is plainly already underway. Her Majesty is in her nineties and can understandably only do so much,” the royal source said.
The source continued: “The scandal surrounding Andrew and Epstein gave Charles an opportunity to step in to show that he can run The Firm. No one is bigger than the institution of the Royal Family. Not even Andrew, the Queen’s favorite son.
“Charles recognized that and acted decisively — like the king he may well soon be,” the source added. “This was the moment when Charles stepped up as Prince Regent, the Shadow King.”
Pulling the Royal Family “into line”
The Sun went on to note that while Charles didn’t have the final say on the recent ousting of Andrew — and his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie — from the royal court, he counseled and encouraged the Queen to do so out of concern for how the explosive Epstein situation could damage the Royal Family’s reputation.
Prince Andrew wasn’t the only problem Charles has been looking to address, either; The Sun’s source revealed that he has also drawn close to his eldest son and heir Prince William, and is looking to quell the media controversy surrounding his youngest son Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle.
“Charles has had discussions with William. They both know what he wants to do with the kingship. There’s no doubt Charles will also be pulling Prince Harry and Meghan into line once they return from their private break,” the source said.
Preparing for the transfer of power
The Daily Mail noted that Charles returned to the U.K. on Tuesday from a trip to New Zealand and the Solomon Islands and immediately went to visit his 98-year-old father, Prince Phillip, to discuss the ins-and-outs of the transition of titular power. Phillip had run the royal family as a tight ship until he had “retired” at 95 and word among royal courtiers is that “discipline” within the family has diminished greatly in his absence.
And though Charles was said to have been behind the Queen’s decision to force Andrew’s early “retirement” from royal life, it is unlikely that the two brothers will be having a “showdown” as had been rumored in British media.
This is all quite dramatic and interesting for those who follow the Royal Family, and perhaps a bit historic, as there hasn’t been a transfer of monarchial power, much less a “prince regent” — the Daily Mail noted the last prince regent was named in 1811 after King George III stepped down — for quite some time in British royal history.