4 Signs Queen Elizabeth Is Slowing Down (and One That Says She's Not)
But there are signs that Britain’s longest-reigning monarch is starting to slow down.
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1. Tapping Charles and Will for Royal Duties
Immediate heir Prince Charles, 67, and grandson Prince William, 33, regularly step in to tap the shoulders of knights and award damehoods and other honors at Buckingham Palace investiture ceremonies that are thought too long for the Queen to do. Charles led the latest one on Thursday, in which he extended a knighthood to legendary singer, Van Morrison.
2. An End to All Long-Haul Travel
In fact, the Queen, 89, won’t be traveling abroad at all on official business before the summer, palace officials say. Last year, she visited Berlin and Malta.
3. Prepping the Next Generation
Some of the 1,300 patronages and good causes that she and husband Prince Philip, 94, have between them are gradually being handed over to younger members. Philip passed on the role of patron of the Air Cadet Force to Princess Kate in December, and there’s speculation she could take over as royal head of the All England Tennis Club from the Queen. (Prince Harry may also get the Queen’s England rugby patronage.)
4. No New Dogs Allowed
And One Major Sign She’s Not
While her engagements are said by some insiders to be shorter in terms of time, she is still doing more than 330 a year – that’s more than William, Kate and Harry carried out combined last year. Her duties include epic garden parties, where 8,000 people are entertained on three occasions in May at Buckingham Palace. She and Philip spend two hours on their feet walking through the crowds chatting to guests.
A palace source says they detect no real change in the number of duties for the Queen this year. “It is as busy as previous years,” the source says.