Despite decades of assurances that Queen Elizabeth II intends to stay "on the job" until the end, suddenly the British media are hinting that Her Majesty is thinking of retiring in 18 months when she turns 95, leaving Prince Charles to carry on as prince regent.
Now comes word from the Prince of Wales' office of what the queen might say about these reports: No way, no how.
A statement Thursday from Clarence House, Charles's London palace and office, denied the queen has retirement in mind or even that there have been discussions about it.
“There are no plans for any change in arrangements at the age of 95 — or any other age,” said the statement, confirmed by USA TODAY.
It is significant that Clarence House thought this long-established assumption about the longest-reigning monarch in British history (67 years and counting) had to be reiterated.
Having sworn herself to royal duty since even before she became the sovereign in 1952, the queen has let it be known that she would never abdicate, never quit, never retire. And at 93, she has slowed down but she is still in good health.