Queen Elizabeth II is the United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch. In three months, she will enter her remarkable 68th year on the throne. Recently, rumors in the London tabloids and elsewhere have popped up claiming she will retire in 18 months when she turns 95. The rumors are false. Gossip Cop can explain.
For years, the tabloids have been full of false reports about the Queen’s plan for succession and these rumors of her retiring are simply more of the same. A number of London papers have been alleging she has a plan in place to retire and name her son, Prince Charles, the regent. As regent, the Prince of Wales would not be king, but he would be in charge of all royal duties and the official head of the royal family.
2019 has become a difficult one for the Queen. Her second son, Prince Andrew, is embroiled in a scandal related to his friendship with disgraced financier Jeffery Epstein. It’s the most significant scandal to rock the family in years. People magazine has reported that the queen has turned to Prince Charles and her grandson, Prince William for counsel in the matter. This has all led to speculation that Queen Elizabeth may be ready to step back from public life like her husband Prince Phillip did in 2017.
In recent years, the queen has handed off many of her traditional duties to other family members. Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and Prince William have especially taken on greater roles. Prince Charles now handles foreign travel on the queen’s behalf, for example. But the queen still takes on the most important duties, like opening Parliament, as she did earlier this year.
An official statement from Prince Charles’ palace, Clarence House, confirmed in no uncertain terms that the queen isn’t planning to retire. An official spokesman for Prince Charles told People, “There are no plans for any change in arrangements at the age of 95 — or any other age.” It’s rare for the royal family to comment on tabloid reports, so when they do, the comments carry great weight. The queen is not stepping aside.
Phony reports like this are hardly new. The most popular tabloid subject lately has been the queen abdicating and handing the throne over Prince William, skipping Prince Charles in the line of succession. Gossip Cop has repeatedly debunked these rumors. Just last week, a tabloid alleged Prince William has been named king in the wake of the Prince Andrew scandal. He hasn’t and he won’t be.
As Gossip Cop has explained countless times, Queen Elizabeth doesn’t have the power to name the next sovereign. In fact, it’s unclear if she has the power to name Prince Charles regent without parliamentary approval. But it doesn’t matter – because in a famous speech on her 21st birthday – the queen said, “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.” Queen Elizabeth II isn’t going anywhere.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.