After Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s jet scandal, Prince Andrew’s interview discussing Jeffrey Epstein appeared to put another unfavorable spotlight on the royal family. The latest scandal sparked rumors suggesting Queen Elizabeth could abdicate the throne.

Although the palace has not announced any plans for the monarch to retire, royal experts believe Elizabeth could follow in her husband’s footsteps and retire at age 95.

During an interview on CTV News, royal expert Richard Bethelson claimed the 93-year-old may be stepping down from her royal duties. “I myself felt that, after the Duke of Edinburgh retired at 95, it set the way and was a bit of a trial balloon for the Queen to follow suit in a few years,” he said.

“She’s about two years away from that now, the Duke of Edinburgh is 98. I think the Queen would if she felt she couldn’t perform the duties to the full extent she would like to do, she would probably feel it would be appropriate for her to either make way for a regency or to out and abdicate.”

Berthelson suggested that Prince Andrew’s recent scandal could push Queen Elizabeth to abdicate sooner than expected. “The incident with Prince Andrew – I think we may be closer to that,” he explained.

“The situation has exposed the reality many of us have been saying for some time, since the Diamond Jubilee ended in 2012, that the Prince of Wales is fundamentally running the family now.”

Berthelson claimed Prince Charles has been making “major decisions” and has noticeably stepped up during events that were traditionally run by the Queen. 

Whenever Queen Elizabeth does choose to abdicate, Prince Charles will become King and will be to rule the monarchy as he sees fit.