The Queen of England, Elizabeth II, may abdicate her duties as the monarch of the British Isles in 18 months, the Daily Mail reported on Wednesday.
If she does so, it is likely the throne will be taken over by her son, Prince Charles, the report claimed.
The queen is 93-years-old and is widely regarded in the UK and abroad as an institution and a larger-than-life figure. The change is allegedly related to her turning 95 years of age in April 2021. Her husband, Prince Philip, left public life when he was 95 years old, meaning this could be a precedent.
The British monarchy is not the only royal institution in Europe – Norway, Spain and the Netherlands also have their respective royal houses – yet the global role of the UK means that the queen is known by nearly everyone in the English speaking world.
She had been the focus of countless documentaries, fictional films and television shows based on her life. Among the latest are the 2006 film The Queen and the 2016 Netflix show The Crown.
Should the queen of England step down, it would be a step of profound importance for her kingdom. The UK currently faces unprecedented challenges concerning its relation to the EU, immigration and national identity. The loss of such a well-loved symbol of national unity and identity will be felt keenly as the new king takes his first steps into the future.