The Royal Family is preparing for the end of an era, with the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge increasingly becoming the "visible face of the monarchy” according to royal historian Anna Whitelock.

Professor Whitelock, a leading expert on royal history, predicts that Her Majesty the Queen will increasingly retreat from the public eye in favour of her son and grandson.

"She's certainly not actively deciding to step back,” she told the Express, “obviously she is being guided by her doctors.

"And I think we're just sort of seeing the reality of a 95-year-old being slightly limited by their age.

We can expect to see, she added, “a continued trend of Charles and William being the visible face of the monarchy.”

It was described as a “a massive disappointment” when Prince Charles took over for Her Majesty at the COP Summit in Glasgow earlier this month, at a time when the Royal Family " needs The Queen more than ever ".

Royal commentator Carole Malone said that the Prince of Wales’s appearance at the 12-day event would be “will be a massive disappointment, which when you think about it, is bad news considering he is going to ascend the throne when the Queen no longer wants to do it or can do it.”

The passing of the torch, which Professor Whitelock was already beginning but has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, sees the royal family preparing for the end of the longest reign in the history of the British monarchy.

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"In that sense,” she said, “there is a transition and obviously the finale of that transition will be when the Queen dies.

"But I think it's important to stress that she does remain head of state,” she added.

"The support and popularity in many places for the monarchy is maintained very much because of the Queen.

"And when she dies, there will be a period of uncertainty, I think, about how far in the longer term people continue to support the monarchy”.

Her Majesty’s health has come under the spotlight over recent months, with her doctors ordering her to cut down on her alcohol intake and the cancellation of her appearance at the Cenotaph for Remembrance Day.

It’s been a difficult year for her, too, with continuing controversy over her son Andrew’s friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and rumours of a “feud” between Prince William and Prince Harry.

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