Queen Elizabeth ready to retire

Will the Queen step aside at 95 to make Charles the Prince Regent

Charles may become Prince Regent it has been suggested

Queen Elizabeth, at 91, is the oldest and longest-serving monarch following her Coronation in 1953.

Jobson said one senior 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".

Royal watchers have always been adamant that Queen Elizabeth will never abdicate the throne, but sources say she is preparing to retire and make Charles "Prince Regent".

"I have spoken to a number of high-ranking courtiers who made it clear that preparations for a transition are moving ahead at pace", royal commentator for the Daily Mail, Robert Jobson, said.

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And as her husband Prince Philip, 96, gets into the throes of his well-deserved retirement, you can hardly blame Her Majesty for wanting to spend her twilight years away from the glare of the spotlight and the rigmarole of gruelling royal schedules. She is dutiful to her core.

Charles has already been filling in for the Queen on foreign trips, including a visit to Canada earlier this year.

An unconfirmed report states the Queen is planning to request legislation to grant Charles full power to reign if she is still in her position at the age of 95.

"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".

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