A U.K. bookmaker, Coral, has stopped yesterday taking bets on Queen Elizabeth II abdicating the throne during her Christmas speech, after several unusual wagers. The speech, as usual, has already been recorded, but Buckingham Palace is keeping it secret until the official celebrations on Christmas day. In the annual broadcast, the Queen gives her personal message to all Commonwealth Nations and comments on the year's main events.

"This morning, we noticed a number of bets which set alarm bells ringing" said yesterday Coral spokesman John Hill. The rumour the Queen is going to leave the Throne has spread throughout the nation in the last days. Elizabeth II is now 88 years old, and she took over in 1952 upon the death of her father, King George VI, when she was only 25. She is the second-longest-reigning monarch in British history. However, the Palace policy upon the potential abdication is not to comment on what bookmakers are doing in these days, but to strongly deny the possibility.

A royal source told The Telegraph that if the Queen was going to make a major announcement, she wouldn't do in this way, as the pre-recorded speech is always broadcast in the South Pacific Commonwealth realms several hours before it is shown in Great Britain. "It would mean - said the spokesman - the end of her reign would officially be announced in Tuvalu, rather than in London. So no, it's not true".

What are the Queen's plans for this Christmas? She will be spending Eve's celebrations at Sandringham House, with the royal family, Prince William, Kate and little George included (a new photoshoot of the 17 months old heir has just been released). Will William be the next King? According to Globe Magazine, Queen Elizabeth II wants her nephew to be Britain's next monarch. But he seems to have rejected her pleas, opening the way for his father, Prince Charles, and stepmom Camilla Parker-Bowles to become the next King and Queen. Will all this rumours reveal to be true? Perhaps we will know more about Queen Elizabeth's plans in a few days.