The Queen to pass on more royal duties to Prince Charles

The Queen and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, are said to be passing on more royal duties to younger members of the British royal family, including their eldest son, Prince Charles.

The heir-to-the-throne, 65, will accompany his mother to Normandy later this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, when a string of celebrations will commence in June. New reports have suggested that this could be the Queen's final engagement overseas.

"We have been told this will probably be the Queen's last official foreign visit," a French government official told The Express. The publication added that so far Her Majesty's schedule contains no further trips abroad.

"Invitations are still coming in and we are assessing them on their merits," said a source.


Prince Charles and the Queen

Other reports have surfaced that the Queen, who turns 88 in April, and Prince Philip, 92, are on a "gradual downward trajectory" in the number of royal engagements they will carry out, according to The Telegraph.

Prince Charles, his sons Prince William and Prince Harry, and William's wife the Duchess of Cambridge, are said to be taking on a heavier royal work load.

The latest indication that Charles is gearing up for his role as monarch is that his media team has merged with the Queen's. One core office based in Buckingham Palace will take care of the royal family's publicity, whereas Prince Charles' team previously worked from Clarence House. Sally Osman, his current communications secretary, will reportedly lead the team.


Prince Philip, the Queen and Prince Charles

The staff reshuffle is part of a strategy to ensure a smooth transition when Prince Charles eventually succeeds the Queen, said the national newspaper.

"When you look at the Queen's diary for the coming year, she isn't slowing down that much, but other members of the royal family are certainly picking up other activities," said a royal source.

"The Prince of Wales is increasingly taking on major roles representing the Queen, as he did at the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka last year, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have a clearer sense of what they want to do."


Prince Charles and the Queen

On Friday, Kensington Palace revealed that Prince Harry will be taking up an office job, that of staff officer at HQ London District, effectively ending his time as an Army Air Corp helicopter pilot.

"The Prince will take the position of SO3 (Defence Engagement)," said a statement. "His responsibilities will include helping to co-ordinate significant projects and commemorative events involving the Army in London. Prince Harry will retain the rank of Captain and be based from Horse Guards, in Central London."