‘Just not on!’ Queen abdication talks squashed as HM ‘will stick with it’ despite struggle

Queen won’t abdicate says royal author Robert Hardman

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Robert Hardman, a journalist and author who has written extensively on the Royal Family, said that talk of abdication was “just not on” in this current climate. Speaking after the announcement that the Queen would miss the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 60 years, Mr Hardman defied implications that her poor mobility may force her to give up her reign. He claimed she made “an oath before God and her people” and she honours that pledge with her life

Mr Hardman told BBC Newsnight: “I think abdication, the a-word, is just not on. There was an outbreak of what I call abdication-itus across Europe in 2013 and 2014. 

“That was when you had the King of Belgium, then the King of Spain, the Queen of Holland, the emir of Qatar, and finally the Pope all chucked it in. 

“The last remaining emperor in Japan did the same and everyone thought the Queen might follow suit. 

“But it is absolutely not going to happen in her case because her coronation was very much a religious affair. 

“She made an oath. She made that very famous speech on her 21st birthday. She made an oath before God and her people. 

“That was on her coronation day and to the best of her abilities, she will stick with it. 

“There’s obviously parliamentary legislation, there’s the Regency Acts of 1937 and 1953 that provide a mechanism for changing her but we’re not in that territory at all.” 

The discussion followed the announcement that the Queen’s eldest son and heir to the throne Prince Charles will lead the State Opening of Parliament today. 


For the first time since 1963, the Queen has had to withdraw from the constitutional ceremony. 

The last time she missed it was due to being too pregnant with Prince Edward at the time. 

She has only failed to attend on one other occasion, in 1959, when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew. 

It means that Prince Charles will read the Queen’s annual speech in her place.


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It is unknown whether the heir to the throne will refer to “my government” or “Her Majesty’s government” during the speech. 

But he will not be sitting on the throne that she will occupy, according to royal commentator Jenny Bond. 

The imperial crown will also be positioned in front of the empty chair as opposed to Prince Charles. 

Ms Bond summarised the situation as follows: “Symbolically, the Queen will still be there. [Prince Charles] is acting on her behalf.” 

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