Her Majesty, 96, has been taking steps in recent months to prepare the country for the next reign, author Ian Lloyd said. The expert believes the Queen is unlikely to ever abdicate despite her mobility issues because of her commitment to the Crown and duty.
But she is ready to pass on more and more duties to her firstborn and heir, not just out of necessity but also to prepare him and the country ahead of his succession. The author of ‘The Queen: 70 Chapters in the Life of Elizabeth II’ told Express.co.uk: “One of the things she is doing, it would appear at the moment, it’s laying the groundwork for the future, the next reign.
“The Queen is supremely popular but when she goes you don’t want it all come crashing down, you don’t want a vacuum where people don’t know what’s going to happen and then Charles comes along as an elderly man.” The royal commentator suggested the monarch’s work is particularly important as it’s not “the PR dream” to have a man who is turning 74 this year take on the throne.
He said: “It’s not the PR dream to have somebody approaching 80s who has lost the bloom of youth and, while he seems very healthy now, may himself be at the age where you start having issues.” Mr Lloyd added there is the desire to see the Queen beat her next record, after she became the first English sovereign to remain on the throne for seven decades.
Speaking before the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the expert said: “I think everybody wants the Queen to break the records, the next record is 2024, when she will beat King Louis XIV of France as the longest-reigning monarch on record. “It’s quite a fabulous thing, really. “Although she herself is not really bothered about records, she wasn’t very keen to do anything when she beat Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning British monarch.”
The Queen overtook her great-grandmother in 2015, as Queen Victoria remained on the throne for 63 years and 216 days. Queen Elizabeth, who is this year marking the first-ever Platinum Jubilee in the history of the British Crown, will overtake Louis XIV of France in two-year time, as the Sun King remained on the throne for 72 years and 110 days.
After being crowned the longest-reigning monarch in the world, the Queen could look ahead to two other milestones – her 100th birthday and the 75th year on the throne. The Queen started delegating duties to her closest relatives and making decisions that would affect the reign of her heir a few years ago.
In 2015, she travelled abroad for the last time, when she visited Malta to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Other members of the Firm have since represented her abroad with trips and tours. In 2017, Prince Charles laid for the first time a wreath of red poppies on behalf of his mother during the national service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, while the Queen looked on from the balcony of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
In 2018, it was announced the Prince of Wales will succeed his mother as Head of the Commonwealth. Over the past few months, the passage of duties from mother to son has become more visible due to the Queen’s episode mobility issues, which have barred her from attending a number of key engagements.
Last November, Prince Charles led a small congregation of royals during the COP26 summit after the monarch had to pull out of its evening reception. In March, he represented her at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.
And in May, he read for the first time the Queen’s Speech during the State Opening of Parliament.
On the eve of the beginning of this Platinum Jubilee year, the sovereign also ended speculation on which title the Duchess of Cornwall would assume following the accession of King Charles, expressing her wish to have Camilla being known as Queen Consort.
On the last day of the Platinum Jubilee, the Queen stepped out on the balcony of Buckingham Palace surrounded only by her three heirs – Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George – as well as Camilla, the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to showcase to the world the future of the Firm.