Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with their children Princess Anne, Prince Charles (right) and Prince Andrew on his first holiday to Balmoral. 8th September 1960. (Photo by NCJ Archive/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
No, Queen Elizabeth doesn't have any plans to retire.
In response to renewed speculation that Her Majesty, 93, is planning on retiring in the next several years to make way for her son, Prince Charles, a spokesperson for the Prince of Wales' office released a rare statement shooting down the rumors.
"There are no plans for any change in arrangements at the age of 95 -- or any other age,” the spokesman declared in a statement released to People.
The new round of murmurs that Elizabeth will retire soon were prompted by the recent announcement that Prince Andrew would be indefinitely stepping away from official royal duties in the aftermath of his widely-panned interview with the BBC, during which he addressed his ties with Jeffrey Epstein.
The Sun reported that it was Prince Charles who pushed his mother to strip Andrew of his duties, claiming that the move "proves he can run the firm" and that "a transition is plainly already underway" for Charles to take over the throne for his mother when she turns 95 in about 18 months time.
Citing a palace insider, People reported that "there was some over-interpretations going on about Charles’s role in the decision to downgrade Andrew’s public role in the wake of his disastrous interview with the BBC, reiterating that it was the Queen’s decision to have Andrew step back from his royal duties."
Royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith also pointed out that the Queen can't just decide to step down from the throne, as there are specific processes in place at the palace to determine when it's time for her reign to come to an end.
"The Queen can’t just wave a queen wand and say Charles you are my regent," Bedell Smith explained. "It’s not her call -- and it’s not his call."
Speculation that Charles was inheriting more responsibility behind the scenes to prepare for his time as King wasn't driven solely by one report, however. Multiple outlets have been positing that the palace is in a transition period, with the Daily Star claiming that Andrew's ouster is just one step in Charles' greater plan to "trim the number of working royals down to a bare minimum" to avoid future scandal and consolidate power.
"The process of slimming the monarchy has already begun as we know Charles was pushing his mother to meet with Andrew and have him step back from his royal duties," Royal Central deputy editor Brittani Barger told the outlet. "I think when it's all said and done, the monarchy will be Charles and his children and grandchildren."
The New York Times' Mark Landler argued the same, saying that Charles' involvement with the cleanup of Prince Andrew's public gaffe "dramatized how Prince Charles has effectively assumed the role of monarch-in-waiting."
"Prince Charles has long pushed for a more streamlined royal family, with fewer members carrying out official duties, drawing from the public purse, or generating damaging publicity," Landler wrote. "But the Prince Andrew debacle is the most visible sign yet that the shift has begun to happen."