Is the Queen stepping down? The big sign she could be abdicating

Queen Elizabeth II arrives for the state banquet in her honour at Schloss Bellevue palace on the second of the royal couple's four-day visit to Germany
(Image credit: Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Whether or not the Queen is stepping down is the cause of great speculation as the monarch gave a new and intriguing sign she could be preparing to scale things back.

The Queen’s Jubilee message has seen abdication rumours circulate after she chose this huge moment to express her hopes for the future. Though no royal fans want to think about what happens when the Queen dies or if she chooses to retire, it seems the monarch has already begun to reflect upon what's next for the monarchy.

Given her unexpected announcement and how prominent Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been recently, it could be that she’s already thinking about scaling back her royal duties…

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales during the State Opening of Parliament

Is the Queen stepping down?

Fans are already eagerly looking ahead to the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday in June. Though despite being the UK's monarch for 70 years now, the Queen’s heart-warming new message could be seen as the most recent sign she could be preparing to step back. 

Announcing her wishes in a letter shared on the Royal Family’s social media accounts, Her Majesty used her Jubilee to express her “sincere wish” that Camilla will become Queen Consort.

Before this it Camilla was expected to be known as Princess Consort instead. Now the Queen asked for the couple to receive the “same support” as her when they are King and Queen. 

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The Queen wrote, “And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”

The way in which the Queen is looking ahead to Charles’ accession could perhaps be seen by some as a sign that she’s looking to step down or at least scale back her own role. Before her recent message, the Queen is understood to never have officially expressed her desire to see Camilla become Queen Consort or addressed the future of The Firm quite like this.

And this isn’t the only sign that the Queen’s mind is very much on those high up in the royal line of succession. Back in December 2021 royal biographer Dickie Arbiter told Femail that Kate and William had been taking the “lead” in recent months.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince George of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Queen Elizabeth II look on from the balcony

Whilst fellow royal expert Nigel Cawthorne claimed the Queen is even set to bring Prince George to the forefront as she focuses on her legacy. However, despite these possible signs, fellow royal experts have instead suggested that it’s very unlikely the Queen will actually abdicate.

As reported by The Independent, Lady Pamela Hicks, the monarch’s former lady-in-waiting, was reportedly asked by her daughter India Hicks about whether the Queen would ever step down. Her response? Never! 

“She will never abdicate,” Lady Pamela is said to have replied. “Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands abdicated to her daughter [in 1948], but the Queen was shocked by the idea because she never can, because she has been anointed and takes her religion very seriously.”

Queen Elizabeth II attends a service for the Order of the British Empire at St Paul's Cathedral on March 7, 2012 in London, England

As monarch and Head of the Church of England, the Queen has remained committed to her responsibilities throughout her milestone reign. Whether or not the Queen will step down or at least scale her busy schedule back over the coming years remains to be seen.

Though there will surely be many royal fans hoping to see Her Majesty out and about a lot more as the Platinum Jubilee celebrations approach.

Emma Shacklock
Senior Lifestyle Writer

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home,, and My Imperfect Life.