Speculation is mounting over why the entire household of Elizabeth II, including the staff at Windsor Castle and Balmoral in Scotland, has been called to London in a “highly unusual” emergency meeting.
Servants from royal residences across the country have been ordered to London and will be addressed this morning by the Lord Chamberlain, the most senior officer of the Royal Household, as well as Her Majesty’s right-hand man, Private Secretary Sir Christopher Geidt. Even her longest serving staff were left in the dark about why the meeting was being called but multiple sources said it was ‘highly unusual’ and had sparked fevered talk about an imminent announcement concerning the monarch or her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. ‘Everyone is on tenterhooks,’ said one. ‘Although meetings involving the entire royal household are occasionally called, the way this has been done at the eleventh hour is highly unusual and suggests that there is something major to be disseminated.
Elizabeth celebrated her 91st birthday last month, and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh is 95. While both were sidelined by “heavy colds” over the Christmas holidays, they have seemed in good form, recently, with Elizabeth recently taking a turn on horseback.
The queen, who has pledged that she will continue to serve the nation until her death, still keeps up a very busy schedule, although upon turning 90, she did cut down on a few of her patronages.
Rumors are flying, of course. One thought is that she is perhaps relenting on that promise and preparing to abdicate the throne to the Prince of Wales. Such a move would not require a sudden, and fast, assemblage of her household, however, which is leading to speculation that perhaps the Duke of Edinburgh, Elizabeth’s husband for 69 years, has passed.
In any case, while we await an announcement, it seems like prayers would be in order for Elizabeth Mountbatten-Windsor, a strong, brave and faithful woman, and her family.
UPDATE: Well, the news almost doesn’t seem to warrant all that drama: The Duke of Edinburgh, who is nearing his 96th birthday, is retiring. And not even immediately — he’ll go on with his schedule until August!
He has certainly earned his rest. Those of us who waited up for an announcement that seemed commensurate with calling the household together overnight need some today, too! :-)