Prince Charles visits Prince Philip amid reports he's preparing for a role as ‘Shadow King’

He’s the longest-serving heir apparent in British history and it looks like Prince Charles’ time to step up is finally here.

After touching down in the UK following his tour of New Zealand and the Solomon Islands, The Prince of Wales has made a trip to Sandringham to visit his father The Duke of Edinburgh to discuss Prince Andrew's disastrous interview, amid reports he's preparing to become Prince Regent, the Daily Mail reports.
After reports Prince Charles, who is the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, played a key role in his younger brother's departure from public royal duties, there has been speculation that the heir is preparing himself to take up a 'Prince Regent' role, where The Queen would remain the monarch, while she let's Charles oversee royal affairs day-to-day.
The Queen and her eldest son and heir Prince Charles sharing a laugh. (Image: Getty)
Talking to The Sun, a royal source said: "A transition is plainly already underway. Her Majesty is in her nineties and can understandably only do so much.
"The scandal surrounding Andrew and Epstein gave Charles an opportunity to step in to show that he can run The Firm. No one is bigger than the institution of the Royal Family.
"Not even Andrew, the Queen's favourite son."
Adding, "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, the Shadow King."
At 93, the Queen is just 18 months away from being the same age her husband Prince Philip was when he retired from royal duties at 95 and according to The Daily Mail royal courtiers believe she may use her 95th birthday to handover the control of the monarch to Charles.
Over the past few years, The Queen has slowly been reducing the number of public engagements she attends, while Prince Charles, 71, has slowly been increasing his.
Her Majesty crowns Charles The Prince of Wales during his Investiture in 1969 - a title he has now held for 50 years. (Image: Getty)
Prince Charles had been in New Zealand with the Duchess of Cornwall for a royal visit when the disastrous interview with BBC to address his relationship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein aired.
Prince Charles was quickly on the phone to his mother to discuss the crisis, with the both of them concluding Prince Andrew needed to step down – Prince Andrew released a statement later that week to formally announce it.
There's a general feeling among royal courtier that ever since Prince Philip, who was known for ruling the family with an 'iron first', retired, the royals have been less 'disciplined' and its thought Prince Charles will seek his father's advice and spent some quality time with the 98-year-old over the next few days.
It's been well-known that Prince Charles has wished for a slimmed-down monarchy when he takes the throne, one that would focus on a core group of royals in the direct line of succession, and Prince Andrew's scandal has effectively helped him put his plans in motion.
Prince Charles has been open about his wishes to streamline the monarchy to include just the direct line of succession. (Image: Chris Jackson)
If Prince Charles was to assume a Prince Regent role, he'd become the first since 1811, when George IV (known as Prinny) took over from his father George III until his death nine years later in 1820.
He was the monarch for ten years before his death at 67 and was succeeded by his younger brother, William IV.