Note: Take a quick glance at the image below. You might just be looking at your soon-to-be King and Queen of England right there.
Note: You are indeed looking at a photo of a smiling Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton, not a photo of Prince Charles.
Call it a historic change of plans ...
In a stunning turn of events, a palace source reports that Queen Elizabeth II has decided to pass down her royal duties to her grandson.
This marks a groundbreaking change in the line of succession, which would typically make her first-born son, Charles, the heir apparent.
Why would Her Royal Majesty - who has yet to make any sort of formal announcement to confirm this - make such a drastic decision?
According to the insider, the Queen believes installing a younger generation will be vital for the House of Windsor to continue to thrive.
That means Charles, who turns 69 this fall, is SOL.
“Her Majesty realized that William and Kate are the future,” said the palace insider, noting that her royal legacy hangs in the balance.
“She has spent 65 years making sure that the House of Windsor survives," which is what ultimately led HRM to this bold idea.
The long-ruling monarch "sees William and Kate as having the energy and star quality to do the job in a modern world."
It's not personal to her son, but "Queen Elizabeth will always do what is best for the long-term health of the monarchy.”
In a surprising admission, she also reportedly does not believe the monarchy has the “respect and power it once had.”
We would have to agree, but it's still surprising that she believes this - and is willing to go this far to change the trajectory.
“In her eyes," the royal family has lost a lot of influence, but "William and Kate are the two people who can turn that around.”
What's not surprising is that the 91-year-old Queen's alleged decision to pass the crown on to William has led to inner family turmoil.
William and Kate, both 35, are now enduring a strained relationship with his dad, who has already waited a lifetime to become king.
For Charles, it's a bitter pill to swallow.
"Things have been a bit strained between William and his father since the Queen’s decision ... but they are slowly getting used to it."
Interestingly, Charles' wife of 12 years, Camilla Parker Bowles, is taking it well. In fact, she's "secretly thrilled about the Queen’s decision."
"At 70, she’s had enough drama to last a lifetime. [But], it’s hard on Charles. He has been unlucky as the man with the longest wait for a job ever."
As for how this bombshell news will impact the lives of William and Kate's young kids Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2?
Middleton has some mixed feelings about it, to be sure:
"Kate wanted to keep a low profile for a few more years. She’s desperate to remain a hands-on mom and worries about being in the spotlight more."
"She’s concerned about the added pressure on her kids."
Apparently the royal shot-caller isn't concerned about anointing a former commoner to such a lofty position, though ... racy photos or not.
Luckily, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge may have time to process all of this, because Elizabeth isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Says the source of the Queen's future plans:
"It’s well-known that the Queen will never abdicate the throne, and at 91, she is in great health. She intends to live to at least 100!"
Here's hoping that intention comes true!