The Queen, 94, is the longest-reigning monarch in British history and has served as head of state for the past 68 years. Retirement plans for the Queen have once again surfaced in recent weeks with a number of key milestones on the horizon. Several royal experts have suggested the monarch could step down from duty after her 95th birthday in 2021 or in 18 months’ time when she celebrates her 70th Platinum Jubilee.
Former royal butler to the Prince of Wales, Grant Harrold, believes the Queen will stay as the official monarchy until death, but insisted she could “hand over the reins of the monarchy in all but name” to her son.
Mr Harrold, who worked in the royal household from 2004-2011, added Charles could inherit further patronages from the Queen in the coming years.
He also referred to a promise made by the then Princess Elizabeth on her 21st birthday in 1947.
The future monarch vowed to serve her country for her “whole life” during a speech in Cape Town on April 21, 1947.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Harrold said: “I very much doubt the Queen will abdicate as she made the nation and commonwealth a promise in 1947.
“As she is a traditionalist, I do not see her breaking this promise.
“It is possible she may hand over more duties, give up patronages of the charities she’s still patron of, or even go into a semi-retirement and hand over the reins of monarchy in all but name to her son Prince Charles.
“But as far as being our monarchy, I believe will not change until she dies.”
The Queen became the UK’s longest-serving monarch on September 9, 2015.
She surpassed the record of 63 years, seven months and two days set by Queen Victoria.
The Prince of Wales became heir apparent at the tender age of three when his mother, Princess Elizabeth, acceded to the throne following the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952.
The historic reign of his mother has meant Charles has been the longest serving heir-to-the-throne.
In 2011, the Prince of Wales broke a previous record of 59 years, two months and 13 days, set by his great-great-grandfather, King Edward VII.
Only once in British history has a monarch abdicated – the Queen’s uncle in 1936.
King Edward VIII stepped down in order to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson, as she was a divorcée he was not allowed to marry her otherwise.
Earlier this month, the Government announced plans to commemorate the Queen’s 70th year as head of state in 2022.
Minister confirmed an extra bank holiday will be granted as part of a four-day weekend from June 2.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the occasion will be a” truly historic moment, and one that deserves a celebration to remember”.