Will Queen Elizabeth II make her last public appearance next Thursday?

Some adjust to it.

For the 96-year-old monarch, it's just a few steps to the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

From there she could follow the air parade of the Royal Air Force and wave to the people again.

She would thus mark the culmination of her remarkable reign, as this June 2 begins the main celebrations of her 70th jubilee to the throne.

But at the latest when the balcony door closes again and the jubilation subsides, the clammy question will return: What's next for the British monarchy?

Jochen Buchsteiner

Political correspondent in London.

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The debate is rarely held in public.

Piety mixes with respect for the queen and her life's work.

Nevertheless, everyone can see that further decisions are pending, which will not only affect the division of labor in the royal family, but eventually also the constitution.

The gradual handover of state affairs to Crown Prince Charles is taking place before everyone's eyes - and the roles inevitably become blurred.

It is becoming increasingly unclear who is actually in charge in the royal family.

Missed only twice from a government statement

The embarrassment of the situation was crystallized in the recent Queen's Speech without the Queen.

Only twice since her accession to the throne had Elisabeth omitted the annual government declaration in the House of Lords and had representatives read it out.

A long time ago when she was young and pregnant — and on May 10th of this year.

Unlike in 1959 and 1963, she was not represented by the Lord Chancellor, but by her son Charles.

On the one hand, the perspective was gently directed to the future change of throne.

On the other hand, the protocol arrangement was meticulous about making the Queen appear as the true ruler despite her absence.

Charles, who appeared in Parliament with his wife Camilla and son William, did not sit where his mother had sat for decades.

Only the "consort throne" was reserved for him, which traditionally stands to the right of the monarch's throne.

Elizabeth's throne had been cleared away and replaced by a small table, on which lay the imperial crown on red velvet.

"The Queen's missing throne put Charles in his place," headlined The Times the day after.

For more than six years now, the Queen has been slowly taking leave of the public political stage.

In November 2015 she undertook the last trip abroad;

she went to Malta, where she had lived with her husband Philip for two years as a newlywed.

In April 2018, she then asked the heads of state and government of the Commonwealth at their summit in Buckingham Palace to accept Crown Prince Charles as her successor at the head of the union of states.

That was the official beginning of the careful handover of power to her son, who in truth had already increasingly relieved her, whether by traveling or being knighted.

In October last year, the Queen finally canceled her last planned domestic trip on the advice of doctors;

she should have gone to Northern Ireland.