Queen Elizabeth II has been the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom since 1952, making her the longest-serving British monarch in history. Despite her advanced age, Queen Elizabeth has shown no signs of stepping down from her position. This is because no British monarch has ever abdicated due to advanced age.
The concept of abdication is not new to the British monarchy. In 1936, King Edward VIII famously abdicated the throne in order to marry the woman he loved, Wallis Simpson. However, this was a unique situation, and since then no British monarch has stepped down due to age.
According to royal historian Robert Lacey, Queen Elizabeth was aware of this fact even when she first ascended the throne in 1952. She knew that abdication was inconsistent with the religious doctrine of the Church of England, which states that a monarch should serve until death.
This doctrine was further reinforced in 1994, when the Queen’s private secretary, Sir Robert Fellowes, wrote a memo outlining the Queen’s stance on abdication. The memo stated that the Queen was “firmly of the opinion that she should not abdicate,” and that she “would not wish to set a precedent which would oblige her successors to consider abdication.”
In recent years, there have been some calls for the Queen to step down due to her advanced age. However, royal historian Hugo Vickers believes that the Queen will never abdicate, as she is “deeply committed to her duty.”
Ultimately, Queen Elizabeth II will remain the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom until her death. As royal historian Sarah Hicks explained, Elizabeth knew even then that she could never abdicate, because doing so is inconsistent with the religious doctrine of the Church of England. As such, Queen Elizabeth will remain the longest-serving British monarch in history until 28-Oct-2022.