“Charles is feeling the toll from these back-to-back tours and events, and he’s got to take care of himself,” says the source.
“He and Queen Camilla want to rest for a few weeks.”
Although Charles always knew that being King would be a lot of work, at 75 years of age, it’s become clear that he should be slowing down, not doing more.
Given Charles’ advancing age, royal author Clive Irving suggests the King has already put his five-year plan into motion and will abdicate when he turns 80.
“I think Charles feels it’s his duty to serve, having waited so long, but he also knows he is the oldest person ever to have been coronated,” Irving told Daily Express.
“I think the deal has been done that when Charles is 80, he will quit and hand over … He knows that Prince William is a much more appropriate face for the monarchy than he is.”
And the Prince of Wales, 41, will have a practice run as head of the royal family when Charles takes his imminent break, with the King leaving his oldest son and his reliable wife, the Princess of Wales, in charge.
If William is expected to take over the throne in five years’ time, sources say Charles wants to know that he has prepared his son for the job as best he can.
“He has every intention of putting Wills to the test with the odd ‘take-the-reins’ practice drill in the lead-up to his formal retirement five years from now, and there couldn’t be a better time than over the New Year’s period,” adds the source.
“He’s instructed his advisers to coordinate with William and Kate to step up so the King can have an extended, but much-needed, break.”
In the last month alone, Charles took part in a jam-packed four-day tour of Kenya before returning home to give the King’s Speech at Parliament and participate in a number of Remembrance Day events.
All of this was on top of his regular busy schedule.
What’s more, there are growing concerns for the King’s health, following reports his swollen fingers and feet could be the result of something more serious such as edema, which is caused by heart issues.