Speculation is growing that Queen Elizabeth II will step down in 2021 when she turns 95.

If that happens, Prince Charles would become a Prince Regent, ruling in the Queen’s stead.

“I felt after the Duke of Edinburgh retired at 95, I thought it set the way and was a bit of a trial balloon for maybe the Queen to follow suit in a few years because she’s about two years away from that now,” said CTV News’ royal commentator Richard Berthelsen.

“The Duke of Edinburgh is 98 and I think the Queen would feel at a certain point that if she couldn’t perform the duties to the full extent that she would like to do that -- she would probably feel it would be appropriate for her to either make way for a regency or to out-and-out abdicate.”

Berthelsen speculated that due to the scandal around the Queen’s son, Prince Andrew, and his association with convicted child sex predator Jeffrey Epstein that she may be closer to stepping aside.

British tabloid The Daily Mail reported that Prince Charles met his father, Prince Philip, this week to discuss the fallout from Andrew’s disastrous TV interview amid reports he is preparing to take over leadership when the Queen turns 95 in 18 months.

“The situation has exposed the reality that many of us have been saying for some time, since the Diamond Jubilee ended in 2012,” Berthelsen said.

“The Prince of Wales is fundamentally running the family now. He is fundamentally making all the major decisions, he’s been delegated a lot of the travel and most of the ceremonial duties of the monarchy that the Queen can delegate.

“It would be an untenable situation if he were to be really running the show more formally and in more tricky situations and yet not hold the title.”

The Queen has not done any long-haul travel since she turned 90, Berthelsen said.

“She is becoming a little more frail, maybe a little bit more tired,” he added.

“I think it’s very likely after her 95th birthday that we’ll see some signal from the palace that she might either abdicate if her health is poor or more likely a regency, where Prince Charles would be Prince Regent and would have all the constitutional powers so she wouldn’t have to be involved in that any further.”

Berthelsen said the previous regency in Britain, from 1811 to 1820, when George, Prince Regent, ruled as proxy for King George III due to his illness, “wasn’t the most happy arrangement.”

“There is a bit of black mark around it (a regency), a bit of an odious atmosphere around it,” Berthlesen said. “And I think that’s the reticence in declaring it.”