Queen 'could retire in 18 months' with Charles 'set to take over as Prince Regent'

The Queen has already handed over a number of her duties. [Image: Getty Images]
The Queen could 'retire' from her royal duties in just 18 months time, passing the role to her son Prince Charles, according to reports.

The Monarch will turn 95 in April 2021, the age her husband Prince Philip was when he stepped back from his royal duties two years ago.

Sources say that while words such as "regime change" are banned, there is an understanding that she will step back at some point, reports the Sun.

According to the newspaper, she may use this milestone to "retire" from her official work, but still remain as Monarch.

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This means Prince Charles will become Prince Regent, when an heir to the throne acts as the monarch officially in place of the sovereign.

She has already passed a number of her duties down to her son and other members of the Royal Family, however, she still has a very busy diary of engagements.

In 2018 she carried out 283 engagements, which while less than 2016's 332, is still very impressive considering her age.

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Earlier this month Charles laid a wreath on her behalf at the Remembrance Sunday service and the Duchess of Cambridge has taken on a number of her patronages including the Royal Photographic Society.

Many believe that the sacking of Prince Andrew from his royal roles was an example of Charles stepping up and pulling the strings about the Royal Family's future.

A royal source told the newspaper: “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 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 favourite son.

“Charles recognised that and acted decisively — like the king he may well soon be. This was the moment when Charles stepped up as Prince Regent, the Shadow King.”

While it was the Queen who actually delivered the news to her favourite son and informed the rest of the Firm, Charles was said to be very involved in the decision.

The Duke of York was at the centre of a huge scandal after his disastrous interview with BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis about his paedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew, 59, is said to have held crisis talks with Charles, 71, by telephone before he was summoned to Buckingham Palace by the Queen.

During the meeting with his 93-year-old mum, the Duke issued a grovelling apology for heaping shame on the Royal Family.

A source told the Telegraph it was the Queen's decision to force Andrew to step back from public life, adding: "The Duke was summoned from his home, Royal Lodge Windsor, to see the Queen personally at Buckingham Palace.

"Effectively he was told to bow out gracefully.

"They agreed he could release a statement saying it was his decision but it was the Queen who told him to do it."

He will no longer receive his £249,000 royal allowance which is taxpayers' money from the Sovereign Grant and he has been ditched by a number of companies and charities.

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The QueenPrince CharlesMonarchPrince RegentBritain