July 8, 2019
July 8, 2019 5:15 PM EDT
Queen Elizabeth II delivers the Queen's Speech whilst sat next to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales during the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster on June 21, 2017 in London.Arthur Edwards / WPA Pool/Getty Images, File
Will Prince Charles take the throne before his mother Queen Elizabeth II dies? Rumours suggest that might be the case.
In an episode of Yahoo’s Royal Box, British journalist Phil Dampier says while it is unlikely that the 93-year-old monarch will abdicate the throne, she may start to relinquish her responsibilities in about two years.
“There is talk that when she reaches 95 … that she might slow down, possibly the Regency Act will be brought in,” the author, who has covered the royal family for more than three decades, says in the video. “She’ll still be Queen but Charles will, in fact, take over most of the duties. And, of course, he’s starting to do that already, being at the state opening in parliament and the Commonwealth conference.”
Regency Acts are an act of U.K. parliament that designates a regent to govern if the monarch is incapacitated, absent or a minor. The Regency Act of 1811, for example, designated then-Prince of Wales George as regent when his father King George III became incapacitated due to his mental illness. He served as regent until his father’s death in 1820 and reigned an additional 10 years as King George IV.
The current version, the Regency Act of 1937, was drafted after Elizabeth’s father George VI became king to ensure a regent was designated in case he died or became incapacitated before she turned 21.
However, the act wasn’t used as Elizabeth was 25 years old when she ascended to the throne in 1952.