Two recent announcements – the Japanese government’s agreement to the Emperor’s wish to abdicate and Prince Philip’s retirement from public life, both on grounds of advancing age – highlight the fact that there is no continuing provision for abdication in UK law. Bob Morris, who will be no stranger to readers of this blog, has kindly allowed us to cross-post the following, which first appeared on the UCL Constitution Unit Blog. Bob indicated to us that it would be interesting to see whether any of our readers were moved to regard religious reasons as nowadays an impediment to abdication/retirement.
The Japanese government has agreed to the request of the current Emperor of Japan, Akihito, to abdicate on grounds of age and growing infirmity – he is now 84 years old. Prince Philip, 96 this year, announced on 4 May that he would be withdrawing from public life later this year on grounds not dissimilar to those of the Emperor. What are the implications, if any, for the United Kingdom monarchy? Continue reading