Queen Elizabeth is reportedly stepping back from some of her royal duties due to the health of her husband, Prince Philip. The Duke of Edinburgh turned 99 on June 10 and retired from royal duties himself in August 2017. Philip has had several health issues in recent years, and the Queen reportedly wants to "make the most of the time" she has left with him.
Philip reportedly "doesn't have the same energy" and knows he has to "look after himself," a source told Closer Weekly. The prince "knows his days are numbered and is trying to make the most of the time he has left with the queen." The Queen, 94, has also made very few public appearances in recent months due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving Prince Charles and Prince William to do the heavy lifting.
Queen Elizabeth is "nearing" the end of her reign, so she is planning to "pass the crown to Charles sooner rather than later," the source said. "Charles has already taken on many of her duties, and since marrying Camilla [Parker Bowles], he has become so much more self-assured. Having a strong woman by his side has helped him to become more confident." According to Closer Weekly's source, Elizabeth is now spending time looking back fondly on the past and misses her sister, the late Princess Margaret. She wishes she was not so "harsh" with Margaret, who was a "loose cannon," but "did make Elizabeth and Philip laugh," the source said.
In recent weeks, Philip has made rare appearances in public. He was seen very briefly with the Queen at Princess Beatrice's wedding and attended a ceremonial event last month. On July 22, he handed over his role as Colonel-in-Chief to The Rifles military regiment to Prince Charles' wife, Duchess Camilla of Cornwall. The Queen and Philip have been staying at Windsor Castle during the pandemic, but they do still plan on heading to Balmoral Castle in Scotland for their annual summer holiday, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told PEOPLE.
The coronavirus pandemic did touch the royal family personally, as Charles tested positive for it in March, although he later recovered. In April, his son Prince William said he was "quite concerned" about his father's health at first because he fit the profile of someone at-risk of COVID-19. "He fits the profile of somebody of the age he's at, which is you know fairly risky, and so I was a little bit worried," William told the BBC at the time. "But my father has had many chest infections, colds, and things like that over the years, and so I thought to myself if anybody is going to be able to beat this it's going to be him."