Happy birthday to the Queen! Her Majesty turns 92 today (April 21)
She shows no signs of stepping down from her throne. Sure, she has scaled back a little, but she soldiers on. The Duke of Edinburgh, 96, retired only last year, and probably because his health has really forced him to do so. I don’t think the Duke would willingly slow down if given the choice.
The Queen is slowing down a little, but because she’s the monarch, she’s not going anywhere anytime soon. However, she is paving the way to ensure that it is known to all that Charles will be the next king and the next head of the Commonwealth. She underscored the point in her speech at this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Why did she do that? Well, there has been speculation that Charles isn’t as popular as Prince William, his eldest son. Like the monarchy is a popularity contest of “will they/won’t they be voted off the island”. It seems silly, but when the rumor starts being repeated over and over, people start thinking, hey, William could be more popular, maybe he will be the next king!
Not so. In fact, it’s so not so that the Queen came right out and introduced Charles as being the next head of the Commonwealth like her, and her father before her. Case in point: Charles is next. Put the kibosh on any other thoughts of William’s ascendancy.
The unusual forthright comment on Charles succeeding her is down to two words: The Abdication. While several royal contemporaries in Europe (and now Japan) have abdicated for the next generation, Elizabeth is not going to do so and Charles isn’t going to, either. Her uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated the throne and left Elizabeth’s father, Prince Albert, unprepared to be king and rather fearful of the task at hand. The Royal Family would hold Edward and Wallis in contempt forever more. Through it all, a little princess was watching everything unfold. Young Elizabeth of York would have it ingrained in her that abdication equals dereliction of duty.
The extremely responsible and serious princess wasn’t having any of that nonsense, and as we can see, she still won’t. There will be no abdications, for her or for Charles. William has to wait his turn.
Elizabeth is delegating, however, and she’s pointing the spotlight on her son and heir, Charles. Her Majesty is making sure that the business of monarchy will continue seamlessly. It is the right thing to do.