If you follow the royal family and you’re not a fan of Prince Charles, then you probably won’t like reading this.
The Queen, who will be celebrating her 88th birthday this year in April, as well as a 62-year long reign on the throne, has agreed to pass on some of her traditional duties to her 65 year-old son, Prince Charles, in a historic move that has been referred to as a “gentle succession.”
For the first time within the royal family, Prince of Wales Charles will be responsible for more activities of a head-of-state nature as the Palace begins to make preparations for him taking over the throne as king.
(That has to feel kind of creepy to Queen Elizabeth, no? Knowing that everyone is buzzing about preparing to keep things running smoothly the instant you pass away? We all know we’re going to die someday, but knowing it and watching everyone around you plan for it are two totally different things. And hey, Charles is no spring chicken either. Seems like they should be preparing for Prince William’s eventual reign as well.)
The first move in the royal transfer of power will be occurring this week, when the Queen’s and Charles’ press offices are merged together. What this means is that from this point forward, any announcements concerning the Queen or Prince Charles will both come from one source, as opposed to them having separate sources.
Princes William and Harry will also have new and increased responsibilities as a result of this transfer, partly because they have both completed their terms in the military and are now free to take on more tasks.
One source described Charles’ new role as doing less of the things he likes to do more and more head-of-state things. Doesn’t that sound like Charles just turned 21? “No Chuck, there will be less partying and more studying around here. After all, I’m not going to be around forever, and I’ll need you to take over the family business when I die.”
Sources say that the Queen remains in “excellent” health, but that there’s no denying that she is becoming more frail in her older age. Charles and his long-time partner Camilla Parker-Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall, are said to be taking on more public work on the Queen’s behalf.
The Queen has probably earned a bit of a break, seeing as how she is the oldest living British monarch in the history of the monarchy, and she is about to eclipse Queen Victoria’s previous record of 63 years on the throne. Though, sources were quick to point out that while she may be sharing her load, she is most certainly not going to be taking a back seat to the action.
For instance, the Queen has a hefty itinerary planned for her in the upcoming year, complete with a trip to Normandy in the summer with Charles to honor the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The Mirror also reported that she will be traveling with Prince Philip to Rome later in the year, a visit that was initially scheduled to take place in 2013 but that was later postponed to this year.