Prince Charles's Quiet Coup As He Begins Stealth Take Over From Queen
For Prince Charles, it seems, the waiting to be King has now gone on long enough.
For, as from this week, Prince Charles is to take on more and more of the formal roles of the monarch, in a situation which may lead to a new regency, the term given when somebody governs in place of the monarch.
So expect to see more of Charles at key events such as the opening of Parliament.
Also from this week, the Queen is to cease having her own press office, and her press operations are to be merged with those of Prince Charles and Camilla, directed by one of Prince Charles's key personnel from a central office at Buckingham Palace.
Furthermore the Queen is only to make one more State visit abroad, according to reports published at the weekend, a visit to France to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the first world war.
French sources told The Sunday Times that this will be her last foreign trip.
Although the Queen is said to be fully behind the changes, one will insider told the Mail on Sunday, "there is a feeling that Charles has been given an inch and taken a mile."
A source told the Sunday Times that the changes were being made quietly and with somestealth because, “Any formal announcement would be tantamount to declaring a regency, and that would raise all kinds of difficult constitutional issues,” said one former royal aide.
However, the clearest acknowledgement yet that the establishment is preparing for an almighty shake-up came in the New Years Honor's list, when the Queens private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt, was knighted, according to the citation, for "a new approach to constitutional matters... [and] the preparation for the transition to a change of reign".