LONDON – Queen Elizabeth II – the oldest and longest-serving monarch at the age of 91 – could be planning to pass her power on to Prince Charles when she turns 95, according to The Mail on Sunday.
The newspaper reported that the Queen has told “her inner circle” that should she still be on the throne at the age of 95, she will ask for a “piece of legislation called the Regency Act to come into force – granting her eldest son full power to reign even while she still lives.”
This would effectively be a softer version of abdication, which the Queen has vowed never to do.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the report when contacted by Business Insider, and an inside source cast some doubt on the idea.
However, royal commentator Robert Jobson – who claims to have once been called the “Godfather of Royal Reporting” by the Wall Street Journal – said: “I have spoken to a number of high-ranking courtiers who made it clear that preparations for a transition are moving ahead at pace. They have all confirmed that a Regency with Charles taking the lead is now, at the very least, a real possibility.”
Jobson added that a former member of the Royal Household told him: “Out of the profound respect the Queen holds for the institution of monarchy and its stewardship, Her Majesty would want to make sure that she has done everything she can for her country and her people before she hands over. She is dutiful to her core.”
The member added: “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.”
Members of staff responsible for communications at the Palace have been ordered to be “‘up to speed’ on the 1937 Regency Act, which grants power to the heir apparent ‘in the event of the incapacity of the Sovereign through illness, and for the performance of certain of the Royal functions in the name and on behalf of the Sovereign in certain other events,'” according to the Mail.
In order for a Regent to be implemented, a decision has to be made by at least three of the following: The Sovereign’s consort (who in this case is Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip); Lord Chancellor David Lidington; the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow; the Lord Chief Justice, the incoming Sir Ian Burnett; and Master of the Rolls, Sir Terence Etherton.
Jobson said Clarence House has yet to comment on “Plan Regency.”
Jobson’s prediction comes despite the fact that the Queen has repeatedly stated that she would not abdicate the throne.
The first instance being on her 21st birthday in 1947, when the then Princess Elizabeth said in a radio broadcast: “I can make my solemn act of dedication with a whole Empire listening, I should like to make that dedication now. 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.”
Her Coronation Oath on June 2, 1953, reflected the same sentiment.
The Mail reported that “abdication” is still not “part of Her Majesty’s vocabulary.” A former member of the Royal Household said: “As ever, the Queen wants there to be the minimum of fuss. Of course, for obvious reasons, abdication is not even a consideration.”