After Prince Philip retired at the age of 96 as the longest-serving consort to the Queen, it caused the Queen to have some thoughts of her own. Having spent 7 decades of life in the public eye by her side, Queen Elizabeth II is now considering when it will be time for her to step down from the throne.
Her eldest son Prince Charles is next in line for the throne and a move that she makes could grant him full power to reign, even while she is still living.
According to one senior former member of the Royal Household, "Out of the profound respect the Queen holds for the institution of monarchy and its stewardship, Her Majesty would want to make sure that she has done everything she can for her country and her people before she hands over. She is dutiful to her core."
"Her Majesty is mindful of her age and wants to make sure when the time comes, the transition of the Crown is seamless," they said.
But when could this be happening?
Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne in 1952 after her father King George VI passed away, making her the longest serving monarch.
On her 21st birthday she vowed to serve the Commonwealth and has done just that.
She 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."
Palace sources have indicated that the Queen has told her inner circle that, if she is still on the throne at 95 years-old, she will ask for a piece of legislation to be drawn up, called the Regency Act, which will grant her eldest son full power to reign even while she was still alive.
"I understand the Queen has given the matter considerable thought and believes that, if she is still alive at 95, she will seriously consider passing the reign to Charles," the source said.
Now at 91 years old she has vowed to never renounce the throne, so this legislation would see Charles appointed King in all but name.
"As ever, the Queen wants there to be the minimum of fuss," said the former member of the Royal Household. "Of course, for obvious reasons, abdication is not even a consideration."
Charles has already been filling in for his mother, representing the head of state on foreign trips to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
If Prince Charles were to take up the throne, he would be the oldest-ever UK monarch to be crowned.
After Prince Charles, his eldest son Prince William is second in line for the throne, followed by his 3 year-old son, Prince George.