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Charles ‘set to take over from Queen in 18 months’

‘Regent’s role’: The Queen may hand over control to son when she turns 95 PICTURE: REX

THE Prince of Wales fed growing speculation that he is preparing to take over leadership of the royals after meeting Prince Philip to discuss the fallout from his brother’s disastrous TV interview.

Charles’s talks with his father at Sandringham come amid reports that he is laying the groundwork to adopt a modern ‘Prince Regent’ role.

His crucial role in ‘retiring’ Prince Andrew from public life could be key in seeing him take control of royal affairs while his mother remains monarch.

The Queen will turn 95 in 18 months and there is talk among courtiers that she may use the milestone to hand over effective control to her eldest son.

A royal source told The Sun: ‘The scandal surrounding Andrew gave Charles an opportunity to step in to show that he can run the Firm.

‘No one is bigger than the royal family, not even Andrew, the Queen’s favourite son. Charles recognised that and acted decisively — like the king he may well soon be.

‘This was the moment when Charles stepped up as Prince Regent.’

Charles headed to the Queen’s Norfolk estate on Tuesday to visit Philip after returning from an official tour of New Zealand and the Solomon Islands.

It is understood that the heir to the throne will spend several days with his increasingly frail father, who is 98.

Many courtiers feel that ‘discipline’ within the royal family has broken down — hence Andrew’s decision to go ahead with his car-crash Newsnight interview over his controversial friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

It is believed that Charles, 71, will seek his father’s counsel over what the family should do next.