A new monarch may soon be taking the throne. A leading royal commentator has claimed that Queen Elizabeth II could "step down" and hand over the monarchy to her oldest son, Prince Charles, as soon as she turns 95 in April, potentially ending the reign of the longest-reigning monarch in British history as early as next year.
The prediction comes from royal biographer Robert Jobson, who made the claim while speaking to True Royalty TV's weekly program The Royal Beat, stating, "I still firmly believe when the Queen becomes 95, that she will step down." According to Jobson, while he does not believe the Queen will "formally abdicate," he believes that Charles "will act in her steed as a regent figure," something made possible under the 1937 Regency Act. Newsweek reports that under this act, the reigning monarch can pass on the role of sovereign, in this scenario, to Charles, though Charles would not yet be crowned and would instead serve as Prince Regent.
Adding evidence to his belief, Jobson explained that in recent years, Charles has begun taking on even more royal duties, explaining that "what is happening is the Prince of Wales is very much taking the lead at the moment with the queen deferring most things to the Prince of Wales." However, given that he is not yet king, his position in these roles is not as impactful. Jobson cited the royal family's efforts to strengthen Britain's relations abroad and Charles' foreign tours, the impact of which are weakened by Charles being just a prince.
The news comes just after it was reported in August that the queen would be taking a step back from her royal duties in order to care for her husband, 99-year-old Prince Philip. A source at the time told Closer Weekly that the Queen wanted to "make the most of the time" she has left with the Duke of Edinburgh, and, aware that she is "nearing" the end of her reign, was planning to "pass the crown to Charles sooner rather than later." The source cited the fact that Charles "has already taken on many of her duties."
Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne on Feb. 5, 1952, following the death of her father, King George VI. Her coronation was held at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953. Prior to becoming queen, the current-reigning monarch had dedicated her life to the role, stating on her 21st birthday, "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," Express reports. She is the longest-reigning monarch, with Charles likewise the longest-serving heir-to-the-throne.
Should Jobson's prediction be correct, the queen could hand over the monarchy in as little as six months, as she celebrates her birthday on April 21. Once Charles is king, Prince William will move from second to first in line to the throne, with his and Kate Middleton’s eldest son, Prince George, becoming second in line.