Will Queen Elizabeth be abdicating during her annual Christmas Day message to constituents in the United Kingdom?
The rumor has gained currency, as it were, after a British bookie stopped taking any action today on that possibility, after a number of what it deemed suspicious betting from individuals with perhaps inside information.
Coral, the bookmaker in question, had been offering 10-1 odds on a Christmas Day abdication prior to suspending any further wagers.
"As far as we are concerned there's no smoke without fire when bets like this come through all in succession, so we have decided to be safe rather than sorry and pull the plug on the market," a Coral spokesman told the London Telegraph apparently after 15 bets of about $300 each rolled in within an hour.
The Queen, 88, is the second-longest-reigning monarch in British history, having ascended to the throne in 1953 at age 25. As the Inquisitr previously reported, at the beginning of the year she transferred some of her official duties to her oldest son, Prince Charles, 66. The Queen has four children with husband Prince Philip, whom she married in 1947.
In addition to the Queen's record tenure, Charles has been in the standby mode for an unprecedented amount of time. He is the longest-serving heir apparent in the country's history as well as the oldest heir to the throne in 300 years.
Officials at Buckingham Palace offered no comment on the bookmaker's decision specifically.
However, a spokesman noted, "We always remind people about the Queen's pledge to the nation and to the Commonwealth that she made on her 21st birthday in 1947, when she pledged that whether her life be long or short, her entire life would in the service of the nation," Bloomberg News reported.
The Queen's speech has already been taped for broadcast on Christmas Day, however. She traditionally spends Christmas Day with the Royal Family at the Sandringham House in Norfolk, England. Speculation seems to be that someone present during the filming might have tried to capitalize on the information.
In that context, however, an unnamed palace source quoted by the Telegraph insisted that the rumor has no substance. "If the Queen was going to make a major announcement, she wouldn't do it in a pre-recorded speech that is shown in the South Pacific Commonwealth realms several hours before it is shown here. It would mean the end of her reign would officially be announced in Tuvalu, rather than in London. So no, it's not true." Other unidentified sources close to the Queen have also indicated that the rumor is false.
Do you think it's plausible that Queen Elizabeth II will announce on Christmas Day that she is stepping down from the British throne and make way for Prince Charles, or is this rumor totally unfounded?