Will Prince Charles force the ‘regency’ issue soon after the Platinum Jubbly?

This is not a joke cover, this was the actual cover of the Sun, the British tabloid. I suppose that the headlines and stories write themselves – it absolutely feels like yesterday was some kind of big moment, perhaps a watershed moment, for the monarchy. On Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth skipped the State Opening of Parliament and the Prince of Wales read her speech in her place. There were photos of Charles looking longingly at the Crown. And now we’re getting story after story about A) just how ill the Queen might be and B) the potential for a Charles Regency. Some highlights from this Royalist story in The Daily Beast:

The Queen probably won’t go to the Jubbly: Even Buckingham Palace is now conceding in briefings that the queen might not manage to make a live appearance at the Platinum Jubilee and that her presence (or otherwise) will just be a matter of how she feels on the day. She is scheduled to attend St Paul’s Cathedral’s service of Thanksgiving for her reign, which Harry and Meghan will likely attend. But the idea of her sitting through a lengthy church service in her own honor feels like a fantasy after Tuesday’s no-show.

London Bridge will fall soon: At the palace, there is an increasing sense of readiness for the moment when London Bridge finally falls (“London Bridge is down” is the code phrase that will be used by government and palace officials to signify that the queen has died when the dread day comes).

One new rumor: The most convincing rumors are the ones that suggest she has problems with her heart, and say that the reason she had to go into hospital for tests last year was because she had to have an MRI. These whole body scans are one of the few procedures that cannot be done in a home hospital of the type that has been established in Buckingham Palace for many years, and now rumored to exist in Windsor Castle, where the queen now lives. But of course an MRI can be used to diagnose a whole range of health problems, including back issues, which would fit neatly with the palace’s narrative that there is nothing more worrying ailing the queen than a little bother getting around from time to time.

One biographer genuinely believes we’re being told the truth about the Queen: Robert Hardman, author of Queen of Our Times, a definitive biography of Elizabeth produced with the help of Buckingham Palace, told The Daily Beast: “I think the issue genuinely is mobility, not something more medically troubling. But the point is that her absence at the State Opening of Parliament is not unprecedented, but the resolution to her absence—the use of the Regency Act—is. But this hasn’t been done on behalf of the sovereign, like the last time we had a regency, in 1811. This was the Sovereign laying down the rules. It’s another slow and gradual move in a transition that has seen Charles taking on more and more, which actually began nine years ago when he traveled to Sri Lanka to open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting there.”

The Queen doesn’t have to die on the throne: Clive Irving, the founding editor of The Sunday Times’ Insight investigative journalism team, and author of The Last Queen, told The Daily Beast: “It’s critical to grasp a point that gets easily overlooked because there is so little precedent to guide it: She does not have to die in the saddle, like Victoria, after a rapid decline. There is nothing in the protocols to say that. So the sane thing would be to have her abdicate. The use of the Regency Act is the first step towards abdication, which, I suspect, will happen once the Jubilee is over.”

Wheelchair use: The Daily Beast has previously revealed the the queen is using a wheelchair at home, something the palace has not been willing to confirm, and there is a sense that the queen does not want to become a “wheelchair monarch.” Some might say that only increases the pressure on her to step down.

There’s a real buzz about regency: Duncan Larcombe, former royal editor at The Sun, told The Daily Beast: “My understanding is that there is nothing catastrophically wrong, she just is 96, and I suspect, for all the palace’s denials, that Charles will actually be officially installed in some kind of regency capacity within a year. Tuesday changed everything. The queen really has no option if she is continually unable to perform her role as head of state. It’s one thing not being able to go to an engagement in Glasgow for a climate summit, but if she is now apparently incapable of doing standard, core jobs as head of state, then I think they will have to remove her, by consent of course.”

More from Larcombe: Larcombe said the palace was using the word “mobility” to avoid using the word “infirmity” which, you might trigger the Regency Act. “But in the end, if the CEO can’t ever go into the office, they can’t do any of the actual in-person work,” he told The Daily Beast. “In her case that’s the investitures, the trooping of the color, the garden parties and opening Parliament. There is no coming back from today and they all know it. The use of the Regency Act was very deliberate. I am sure at Buckingham Palace and Clarence House they are all very happy with how it went today. He didn’t fluff his lines, he was well received. It is all going to make the Jubilee hugely poignant, as I think by then it will have dawned on us all that this will be the last time we will ever see her. The countdown has begun.”

[From The Daily Beast]

This is also why Robert Lacey ran to People Magazine to claim that the Queen’s mental facilities are fine, it’s just her body falling apart. I have my doubts about that. That being said, I have my doubts that the Queen is dealing with some kind of major cardiovascular issue too – I totally believe the Palace would lie about her health, but I just feel like they couldn’t hide something that major. Health-wise, it must be a combination of things – grief, a bad back, bad mobility issues, her strength has left her, she likely had a few major falls, and I’m sure she’s nowhere near as sharp as she was even one year ago. Does all of that mean a Charles Regency? Eh. I do suspect that these conversations will shift and take on more urgency after the Jubbly (if she makes it).

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.

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52 Responses to “Will Prince Charles force the ‘regency’ issue soon after the Platinum Jubbly?”

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  1. RoRo says:

    I don’t believe she is “ill.” I think she is naturally aging. Aging doesn’t equal ill. She needs more rest! She needs a walker/ wheelchair! She becomes forgetful!

    • NCDANCER says:

      I agree. She is simply old. It’s surprising how natural aging has never been part of the planning. I guess given how her father and grandfather died, they assumed some dramatic demise.

      • MicMac says:

        Charlie doesn’t look to well himself. His hands look terribly swollen. Either he is having some water retainment issues or it be an early warning sign for heart trouble. If anyone has hands resembling that get yourself checked out.

      • Elizabeth Phillips says:

        He’s always had swollen-looking hands to an extent, but it is becoming more noticeable recently.

    • PrincessK says:

      I agree. Also Charles will be taking on more and more of her roles but they will not call it a regency but it will be like that, all but in actual name.

  2. Merricat says:

    The time is imminent. If she cannot perform her duties, such as they are, she must step aside.

    • Colby says:

      Agreed. We all know her “duties” are a total joke but they do exist and she is unable to fulfill them.

      On the other hand, her being unable to fulfill them and life going on anyway should be telling to Brits that this whole thing is a farce.

  3. Snuffles says:

    The end must be near because this is the first time ever they’ve been remotely honest about the Queen’s health.

    I too believe her mind is still sharp, it’s just that her body is rapidly failing her. I think Harry saw that too or he would have said something different in the Today Show interview.

    She needs to wrap it up and let the transition of power begin. And let Charles do his job which includes putting the Cambridges in their place.

    • C-Shell says:

      The fact that they’re talking so frankly and openly about it is huge. This is really awkward. She should have transitioned the role to Charles more publicly over the past several years, executing a succession plan that could be clearly understood by everyone and building to greater acceptance of Charles as monarch. In other words, showing true leadership. For one thing, there would not now be cheesy headlines about “Mummy” being proud of her 70-something-yr -old heir.

      • Feeshalori says:

        That’s a ridiculous headline and infantilizes him in a role that should have exhibited his leadership and willingness to step into the position he’s waited so long for. They’re ridiculing that he’s still tied to his mother’s apron strings and is taking baby steps. It’s no surprise he’s eyeballing that crown as if it were a snack because he should have at least been regent by now.

      • FeministYeah says:

        That narcissistic grandson doesn’t appear to have fallen far from the grandma tree, does it’

    • Tessa says:

      Charles did some irretrievable damage when he let William run rampant and make sure Harry and Meghan left. The second William started questioning Harry about his relationship with Meghan, Charles should have told him to back off. I am not sure if Charles will be able to undo the damage.

    • PrincessK says:

      The end is obviously near but not that near. I can still see her living to 100.

  4. ML says:

    There was a picture of the queen with blue hands–that can be due to heart trouble. My experience with my parents’ generation (plus or minus a decade) is that when they have physical illnesses, they very often slow down mentally as well (or vice versa).

  5. Jan90067 says:

    That headline! Omg, lolol

    Frankly, I thought he was looking at the crown like he wanted to drown it lol.

  6. RoSco says:

    Yes the Queen certainly MAY abdicate but I thought her stance has always been that a monarch should die on the throne (in large part because of how her father became King after his brother abdicated).

    • Feeshalori says:

      Statements made at 21 in the prime of youth are certainly different when the reality hits of aging. I don’t think anyone factored in that the queen would be so long lived although her mother lived to 100, but then the QM was not a reigning queen. No one really thought about the ramifications of a very elderly monarch and the debilitating effects of old age. If she didn’t want to abdicate, then a regency should have been put in place years ago when the queen reached a certain age to have Charles declared as regent. Maybe that was the Queen‘s intention but seeing what a mess Charles and William are, she perhaps decided to hang in there much to the detriment of the monarchy for herself personally.

  7. Rapunzel says:

    So they’re holding a Jubbly for monarch who is in such poor shape she likely won’t make any of the events? This is bizarre.

    I really truly am starting to think maybe TQ actually did ask Harry and Meghan to come so they could keep her company while everyone else parties.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think they’re probably thinking this is the best time to hide in plain sight with the children – yes the press is going to be obsessed with them because what else is new, but the Queen’s health pulls focus from them and the actual jubbly celebrations will pull focus, so they probably will be able to have more private time with her than they might otherwise, especially if she stays at Windsor and everyone else is in London doing events (or Wales lol.)

  8. Eurydice says:

    Wow, Charles “didn’t fluff his lines.” Woohoo! And I love the list of “core jobs as head of state” – investitures, the trooping of the color, the garden parties and opening Parliament. With a little more practice, I’ll bet Charles will be able to do all of them.

    • kirk says:

      Woohoo! 😂😂😂. Eurydice you’re a hoot!
      Since Victoria didn’t bother showing up for three years after the death of her beloved, why is Betty skipping now being written up as such a big deal?

  9. Sunday says:

    Not that the Firm ever accurately gauges the optics, but the better PR move here is to try to have Charles installed as Regent (or at least start the process) before the queen passes, because it would be seen as him lightening her load after a lifetime of service and seemingly give her seal of approval on his reign, rather than have him step over her corpse on his way to the throne. And honestly, it seems like a win-win because Charles gets what he wants and Will benefits from this precedent being set for his own reign. If they were in any way competent they should unite on this. I do think it’s notable that Charles hasn’t been able to strong-arm his way into a true regency before now when we know it’s all he’s wanted for decades. Say what you will about Philip, but he did successfully keep the wolves at bay.

    The cynic in me also says that at this point there have to be contingency plans that turn the jubilee events into a celebration of life if the queen passes before then. Given the state of Britain’s economy at the moment, I’m not sure the monarchy would want to risk the outrage of lavish expenditures for a jubilee, funeral, and coronation in quick succession while many citizens are going cold and hungry, no matter how much the queen is beloved. They’d stamp out some of those abolition outcries if they could manage to combine some of those.

  10. ThatsNotOkay says:

    A heart “MRI”? Wut?

    Anyway, she might be somewhat sharp, but if her body is failing, she will need lots of sleep and will fall asleep around guests, etc. The fact that they once said she had to cut down on alcohol…that could be for any number of reasons. But I do think, as I previously stated, after the Jubbly, she will let go. Of the Crown, her regency, and probably living.

    • SuzieQ says:

      MRIs sometimes are taken of the heart … that’s the extent of my medical knowledge.

  11. Michael says:

    Charles already looks like a Senior Citizen and he is not even King yet. When the Queen dies the Monarchy will begin a downhill slide I believe, Charles is not loved and William is an idiot. The best royal is living in California and being attacked daily by Royal affiliated newspapers

  12. Over it says:

    I causes me greet pain to agree with Larcrombe on anything but I see his point. If she isn’t able to do her queenly duties then she should step aside. After all she accepts public funds for the job. Not like the keenbridges don’t also get funded for work they barely do. However I think you understand what I mean

  13. Beverley says:

    Charles is eyeing that crown like it’s a whole ass snack.
    Nope, like it’s a five-course meal! 😁

  14. Steph says:

    It’s crazy that people are really wondering if she will make it to the jubilee. I was studying the Dutch RF. They all retire (abdicate) and seem to have a healthy RF. The British should consider it.

  15. Over it says:

    Kaiser you weren’t kidding about Charles looking longingly at that crown. Lol

    • PrincessK says:

      Charles is very clever. He knew that would be a great photo opportunity and he did it deliberately. William on the other hand needs more lessons on how to use public engagements to his advantage.

      • Bellah says:

        I don’t know guys. That looks more than a longing gaze and seems almost mournful. London Bridge IS falling. I believe it’s worse than we’ve been led to believe. That may be why H&M are bringing the kids…to say goodbye.

  16. Pam says:

    I knew things were bad when she wasn’t making religious services, like Easter. As the Head of the Church, that would be a given. I suspect she’s holding on because of that promise she made to the people back when she was still a princess. However, in her twenties she couldn’t have envisioned a day when she’d have a decline and be unable to perform her duties. She probably figured she’d just drop.

    • FeministYeah says:

      Plus, I’m pretty sure all of the subjects that heard her plea have passed too so…

  17. BlueNailsBetty says:

    I loathe the monarchy as an institution and I know the queen has been at the head of a lot of awfulness. However, in all honesty, when she retires/dies I’m going to miss that petty bitch.

  18. michyk says:

    all the gilt and jewels in these photos is just so gross to me.

  19. MsIam says:

    I’ve always felt that the Jubbly would be the last hurrah for the queen. Especially if she’s not going to be seen at any or many events. I mean what’s the point if she’s not going to be seen anymore, might as well make it official. I wonder if they are also negotiating an exit for Andrew? If the queen retires to Sandringham or someplace they wouldn’t want Andrew hanging around Windsor. Buy out his lease and let William move in like he wants.

  20. Dev says:

    Could the Queen be suffering from the effects of long Covid? I feel like the time we heard about earlier this year was at least the 2nd time that Betty got Covid (they just hid the first time—like for William). That could explain what looks like a precipitous decline (I know she’s old). Like, folks in their 30s and 40s w/ long Covid complain of having a hard time walking, inattention, forgetfulness and other ailments, kind of like the speeding-up of aging.

  21. Mslove says:

    IMO, I think Chuck arranged for H & M to see the queen one last time before they went to the Netherlands. I think the end is near, and it’s always a little sad.

    • Lizzie says:

      I feel like PC is trying to get the Camebridges in line so they all come to this coronation.

  22. Squints says:

    I hope she goes peacefully, surrounded by love.

    • Lila says:

      A lovely wish, although in my head I imagine this to be true if Sussexes were there…and can you imagine how absolutely deranged the tabloids would get if she died in Sussexes presence?

  23. SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

    Wait, these selfish vampires have a secret MRI machine that they don’t share with the public system to get through the waiting lists?

  24. Mrs.CP says:

    I just wish she would step aside gracefully.
    She should maintain her dignity.
    This is rapidly turning into a morbid farce.

    • FeministYeah says:

      She forgot that a bigger indignity than being seen ill is to be constantly suspected DEAD, it seems.

  25. Patricia says:

    I think Charles is scared shitless of the damage William will do.Since H&M left,it’s given him the time to see up close and personal what those 2 can damage. I firmly believe he wants the competent royals around,or the monarchy is dead in the water.It can’t survive with W&K as the slimmed down part.H&M might end up with the part time royals titles after all !!!