Queen Elizabeth II is now 94 years old, and may soon step down in favor of her son, Charles Prince of Wales who may shake up the monarchy.
Queen Elizabeth II has reigned over the United Kingdom for nearly 70 years, the longest reign in the country's history. She came to the throne at the age of 27 after the death of her father and has seen unimaginable changes overtake the monarchy.
Her son, Charles, Prince of Wales, first in line to the throne, will succeed her as King, and Her Majesty may well step down, especially since her husband Prince Phillip, 99, has retired from public life.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles at the 2017 Braemar Highland Gathering in Braemar, Scotland | Source: Getty Images
THE KING IN WAITING
Charles, who will be 72 on November 14, 2020. has waited longer to become King than any other Prince of Wales in British history -- his great-great-grandfather Edward VII was 59 when the long-reigning Queen Victoria passed away.
While Queen Elizabeth has fought to maintain the status quo, Charles is expected to bring about massive changes in the way the monarchy is run, and its role in British society.
Prince Charles and Prince Philip wearing RAF uniform at the passing out parade at Cranwell in September 1971 | Source: Getty Images
LESS IS MORE
One of the changes it is believed Charles would institute as King would be to reduce the number of members of the Royal Family on active duty. This "slimming down" has already begun, although not in the best way.
First was Charles' younger brother Prince Andrew, Duke of York who retired as a senior member after becoming embroiled in the unsavory Jefferey Epstein sex trafficking scandal, followed by his son Harry's abdication from the line of succession.
At the time of his marriage, Charles assured the people that Camilla would not take the title of Princess of Wales
Charles, Prince of Wales and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at the Ascot Racecourse on June 18, 2019 in Ascot, England | Source: Getty Images
Prince Harry's abdication and his move to the USA with his wife and child is only the latest controversy to have assailed the Prince of Wales' family life.
His first marriage to the ever-popular Diana Princess of Wales ended in divorce in 1996, due to his on-going, decades long affair with the woman he is now married to, the Duchess of Cornwall, the former Camilla Parker Bowles.
Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince William, and Prince Harry at the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge in 2017 in Lille, France | Source: Getty Images
Charles is also a passionate advocate for the environment and may well take a more active part in advocating change and lobbying his government than the Queen has.
It has been suggested that he will reduce the active Royal Family -- and the burden on the tax-payers -- to the immediate line of succession, namely his son Prince William -- who will become Prince of Wales -- his wife, Duchess Kate, and his children, George, Charlotte, and Louis.
Prince Charles, and The Duchess Of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles after their marriage blessing at Windsor Castle on April 9, 2005 in Berkshire, England | Source: Getty Images
One thing is certain, at the side of the new King Charles III will be the woman he has loved for over 40 years, Duchess Camilla, although what her title may be is still unknown.
At the time of his marriage, Charles assured the people that Camilla would not take the title of Princess of Wales, once held by the beloved Diana Spencer.
Public opinion may dictate his choice, but on his ascension to the throne, he may have the Duchess styled as Princess Consort, or have her crowned Queen of the United Kingdom by his side.