The Queen is understood to have reacted furiously to the comments, made on TV, which highlighted Charles’s impatience to “get on with the job”. A royal expert said Her Majesty was hurt by the comments and ended up “tracking him down” while he was on an overseas visit to get to the truth of the claim.
The incident was documented in a new biography of the Queen by Matthew Dennison, who said Prince Charles rushed to publicly apologise for the comments.
The author wrote: “The makers of a documentary, Charles at Fifty, claimed, ‘We have been told by a senior aide that Charles believes the monarchy needs radical modernisation.
“‘He is impatient to get on with the job.
“‘And that’s why, the aide said, the prince would be “privately delighted” if the Queen were to abdicate.’
“Hastily Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace issued a joint statement explaining that Charles had telephoned Elizabeth to express his distress.
“In fact, a furious Elizabeth had tracked him down on an overseas visit to discover he knew nothing of the allegations.
“A dutiful Charles responded by describing the suggestion publicly as ‘deeply offensive’, ‘hurtful’ and ‘completely wrong’.”
But Mr Dennison said the apology wasn’t enough to appease the Queen, as it wasn’t the first time she had heard such rumours.
But he said the reports originated from the press, rather than directly from Buckingham Palace of Kensington Palace, the official residence of Prince Charles at the time.
The biographer said that he doesn’t think the Prince of Wales is itching to succeed his mother.
He said: “I am quite sure that he has a rich and fulfilling life as Prince of Wales and is not twiddling his thumbs.
“What we don’t have here is the equivalent of Hugh Laurie in Blackadder who is just waiting for his parent to die to jump on the throne.”
Prince Charles will become King after the Queen dies or steps down from the throne.
He is the longest-serving heir apparent to the British throne in history, having held the role for more than 68 years.
Next year the Queen will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of devoted service to the Crown.
The Queen by Matthew Dennison is available to buy now.