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WILLS MUST WAIT; Queen dashes rumour that Charles might step aside.

The Queen will NOT abdicate or pass the crown directly to Prince William, a top royal aide has revealed.

Simon Gimson, former special assistant to the Queen's private secretary Sir Robert Fellowes, dismisses the idea that Charles might step aside to allow his son to become king.

On tonight's BBC1 Panorama programme he insists: "It's an extraordinary idea, abdication, generation skipping. It isn't going to happen."

New Zealander Mr Gimson also discloses that:

The Queen has the modernisation of the monarchy to be speeded up after the death of Princess Diana.

The royal family have slashed their running costs by 39 per cent since 1991 and further cuts may include axing the royal train which cost pounds 1.9million last year.

Mr Gimson's remarks will be seen as the clearest rejection yet of talk that the Queen will one day retire.

Other speculation has suggested that Prince Charles might renounce his succession, making William - who would be 24 when the Queen is 80 - the next king.

But the Queen is believed to feel strongly that abdication - or skipping a generation - would only weaken the essential "magic" of the monarchy.

The Queen has insisted that Fergie comes to her Westminster Abbey Golden Wedding service after organisers left her off the guest list.
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Author:Todd, John
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 17, 1997
Words:211
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