Queen Elizabeth II, 94, is the longest-reigning monarch in British history and has dedicated her adult life to the Crown. She has been on the throne for 68 years and continued to carry royal duties while isolating at Windsor Castle amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Queen and her husband Prince Philip, 98, are both well over the national retirement age and while the Duke of Edinburgh stepped back from public life in 2017, the Queen shows no sign of following in his footsteps yet.
On her 21st birthday, April 21 1947, the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth pledged her lifelong allegiance to British Commonwealth and Empire, hinting she would not retire from public life until her death.
In the famous speech, the Queen said: “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
While the Queen’s schedule of public engagements has been wiped clean for the foreseeable future, she has managed to maintain a morale-boosting presence from the confines of Windsor Castle.
One royal expert has cast doubt rumours she plans to retire and claimed “age is no barrier when you have sagacity and experience.”
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk: “There have from time to time been a series of rumours about the Queen stepping down in favour of Charles.
“Recently the Queen has turned 94 and is in virtual self-isolation at Windsor together with Prince Philip, who is 99 in June.
“This has fuelled further speculation that we might not be able to see her again, given the dangers posed, especially to the elderly, by COVID-19.”
Mr Fitzwilliams also pointed out the Queen’s extraordinary experience and dedication to public duty sets her apart from other heads of state.
He added: “No other head of state in the world has her experience and is as valued as she is.
“Whether it is by telephone on International Nurses Day, by a recorded message commemorating Easter or by a statement when a virtual Chelsea Flower show takes place this year, or dealing with her red boxes or speaking by telephone in her weekly audience with the Prime Minister.”
Mr Fitzwilliams added the Queen will be careful to carry out duties in line with Government guidance on coronavirus.
He said: “The Queen is carrying out her duties in line with government guidance during a time of unprecedented crisis.”
Mr Fitzwilliams believes most Britons will want the Queen to continue in her role as long as she is able to do so.
He hinted her 1947 speech suggests she sees her public role as a lifelong duty.
Mr Fitzwilliams said: “The nation I feel sure wants her to continue doing so so long as she is able to discharge her duties as she swore to do in her famous 1947 broadcast and also to show that age is no barrier when you have sagacity and experience, as she unquestionably has.”
Published at Tue, 19 May 2020 06:21:00 +0000