British Royal Family

Queen Elizabeth is letting the young royals take the throne

There's a secret message behind the giant smiles as the family pose for Prince Charles' 70th birthday photos.

Posing for a happy snap to mark Prince Charles' milestone 70th birthday, the royal family gave the public an unprecedented look into their family life.

But Woman's Day can reveal there is much more to the special family photograph than cheeky grins and birthday cheer.

With the Queen noticeably absent from the portraits, palace insiders have confirmed this was the 92-year-old monarch's way of revealing she's ready to step down – and hand over the reins and the throne to the next generation who are ready to make their mark.

"The Queen is not attending as many engagements as she used to. Instead, she's allowing Charles, William and Harry to take charge," a palace aide confirms exclusively. "She's preparing her family – and royal enthusiasts – for when she is no longer around. The monarchy is about to enter a new era."

WATCH: Prince Charles won't speak out when he becomes king. Post continues after video...

Queen Elizabeth not only was absent for the photo session but missed Prince Louis' christening.

And just last week she broke with tradition by letting her eldest son lay a wreath on Remembrance Day. It's all part of a gradual move to relinquish her duties, with some royal watchers predicting an official abdication announcement is just months away.

But while Charles is priming to soon become King, his sons William, 36, and Harry, 34, are set to play a more substantial role, too.

"The Queen understands that in order for the monarchy to stand the test of time, the regal fold needs to be modernised," our source adds. "William and Harry are adored by the public and the reality is that they are in a far better and more powerful position than Charles to adapt and help the monarchy move with the times."

"Queen Elizabeth knows that the time will come when she is no longer able to perform her duties," another royal aide explains. "She is making the appropriate arrangements."

Queen Elizabeth is making the appropriate arrangements for the young royals to take over. *(Image: Getty Images)*
Queen Elizabeth is making the appropriate arrangements for the young royals to take over. (Image: Getty Images)

Despite waiting years to become the monarch, several sources say Charles is more than willing to split obligations with his two boys. It comes just weeks after William revealed he was working "heavily" with his father to allow him to spend more time with his grandchildren.

And sources close to the prince say it's all part of the young royals' plan to take charge.

"They'll almost share the leadership," says an insider. "William and Harry are determined to be as involved as they can. They've vowed to play their part in keeping the royal family strong and remaining a tight-knit clan at the same time. That's what the Queen wants, and William and Harry would do anything for her."

"William and Harry are determined to be as involved as they can." *(Image: Getty Images)*
"William and Harry are determined to be as involved as they can." (Image: Getty Images)

Body language expert reveals all! What we can learn from the new royal portraits

Prince William
Judi James describes Wills as the "proud husband". He and Kate share "like-minded thinking".

Prince Harry
"Harry and Meghan are still in the flirty stage of their marriage, with his hand placed quietly on his wife's upper hip."

Duchess Camilla
"Camilla uses pronounced signals of reserve, but her steepled hands hint at the kind of backseat driver dominance," says Judi.

Prince George
"George is much more like his own father was as a child, blending signals of what looks like shyness with fun and naughty behaviours."

READ MORE: Prince Charles' 70th birthday portraits: 8 things you completely missed.

Prince William is a the "proud husband" whilst Harry and Meghan are still in the flirty stage of their marriage. *(Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images.)*
Prince William is a the "proud husband" whilst Harry and Meghan are still in the flirty stage of their marriage. (Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images.)

Duchess Kate
Judi says, "Kate's confidence does seem to have increased since Meghan arrived and Louis was born. She's the team leader."

Duchess Meghan
"When she leans forward laughing, she pulls away from Harry to share the moment with the children in the front row, hinting where her focus was at that point."

Prince Louis
"Louis shows all the signs of being a very happy and possibly 'easy' baby and Kate tends to beam with pride as she holds him."

RELATED: Who does Prince Louis look like?

Prince Charles
"He quietly emphasises his status with his legs splayed and consistent formal body posing," says Judi of the future King.

Princess Charlotte
"She seems more than happy to sit in the front row," says Judi, who adds that she shares many traits with Princess Anne as a child.

Duchess Kate is the team leader whereas Princess Charlotte is more than happy to sit in the front row. *(Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images.)*
Duchess Kate is the team leader whereas Princess Charlotte is more than happy to sit in the front row. (Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images.)

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