Queen abdication rumours denied by palace after Coral bookmaker suspends betting on her standing down in Christmas speech

Royal source says monarch has 'never made an announcement during Christmas message, ever'

Buckingham Palace has been forced to deny rumours the Queen is to stand down in her Christmas Day broadcast, after a bookmaker said it was suspending bet following a flurry of “unusual” activity.

Coral said it had been offering odds of 10-1 that the monarch would stand down during the address, which goes out at 3pm in every Commonwealth nation.

A spokesperson told i100 she was aware of six bets made over a short space of time, one of which was for £200, and said that it felt there was “no smoke without fire”.

“Throughout the year there has been major speculation about the Queen’s future but today’s gamble has really caught us by surprise,” said Coral’s Nicola McGeady.

“As far as we are concerned there’s no smoke without fire when bets like this come through all in succession, so we have decided to be safe rather than sorry and pull the plug on the market,” she said.

A spokesperson for the Queen said that it was the Palace’s policy “not to comment on any bookmakers’ work”.

But a royal source told The Independent that with the pre-recorded speech going out at the same time over a number of time zones, it would mean that Tuvalu would hear any news before London.

Instead, the annual Christmas broadcast tends to be used as a personal message from the Queen to the Commonwealth nations, touching on the events of the year. The source said that he couldn't remember there “ever being an announcement made during the Queen’s Christmas message, ever”.

And while there have been a number of royal abdications involving other European monarchies in recent years, the source pointed to the Queen’s oath on her coronation that “whether long or short, her entire life would be in service of the nation”.