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The Queen

Speculation that The Queen may abdicate is shut down (for the next 18 months at least)

Speculation that The Queen may abdicate in the not too distant future was shut down on Thursday following the news that the UK will enjoy a period of national celebration in 2022 to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

The UK government announced this week that in 18 months time, the country will be treated to a four-day national holiday to commemorate the occasion of The Queen spending 70 years on the throne.

This ends rumours that have been swirling recently that Her Majesty is planning to step down as Head of State, perhaps as soon as next year.

Some royal commentators have speculated that on the occasion of The Queen’s 95th birthday next April, she would hand her duties over to the Prince of Wales.

This would have been in line with the retirement plans of the Duke of Edinburgh, who retired from public life in 2017 at the age of 95.

However, plans for the worldwide celebrations means that The Queen is planning to remain as Head of State until at least the age of 96.

This is very much in line with a speech she have on her 21st birthday in 1947 in which 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.”

Her speech to Parliament during her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 further reaffirmed this message, saying: “I have been privileged to witness some of that history and, with the support of my family, rededicate myself to the service of our great country and its people now and in the years to come.”

No British monarch has ever celebrated their Platinum Jubilee before, and indeed back in 2012, The Queen was only the second monarch to have ever reached her Diamond Jubilee, the other being Queen Victoria.

The UK government has promised a “blockbuster” week of celebrations, although the exact plans are being kept a closely guarded secret.

UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Her Majesty’s platinum jubilee will be a truly historic moment – and one that deserves a celebration to remember. 

“We can all look forward to a special, four-day Jubilee weekend, when we will put on a spectacular, once-in-a-generation show that mixes the best of British ceremonial splendour with cutting edge art and technology. 

“It will bring the entire nation and the Commonwealth together in a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s reign.”

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “The platinum jubilee offers an opportunity for the Queen to express her thanks for the support and loyalty Her Majesty has received throughout her reign. The Queen hopes that as many people as possible will have the opportunity to join the celebrations.”