‘She made a pact with God’: why the Queen is not likely to abdicate

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Analysis: though she will probably find it hard without Prince Philip, the Queen is unlikely to step down

The Queen, newly widowed, will find it “difficult” without the support she has leant on over 73 years of marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh, but royal observers have dismissed any speculation that she might consider stepping down.

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The former prime minister Sir John Major acknowledged that her position as monarch was “a very lonely position”. He told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: “There are a limited number of people to whom she can really open her heart, to whom she can really speak with total frankness, to whom she can say things that would be reported by other people and thought to be indelicate.”

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