In a move that has shocked the world, bookmakers have stopped taking bets that Her Majesty The Queen will announce her decision to abdicate the throne.
Originally popular bookies Coral was offering odds of 10-1 that The Queen would reveal her decision on Christmas Day in her annual address to the nation. However, an unusual gamble has “set alarm bells ringing” and they made the decisison to suspend all bets.
A spokeswoman for Coral, Nicola McGeady, said: “Throughout the year there has been major speculation about the Queen’s future but today’s gamble has really caught us by surprise.
“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.”
Any decision by The Queen to abdicate would be contrary to the vow she made to the nation on her 21st birthday, when she said: “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
Friends of the Royal Family have always maintained the view that Her Majesty believes she is bound to serve for life and will never abdicate. However, The Queen has cut back on the amount of long-haul travel she undertakes, which has caused some to speculate about her health.
The last British king or queen to abdicate was Edward VIII, The Queen’s uncle, who in 1936 gave up the throne in order to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee.