After reading an article (linked below) in the Mirror, I realized that its headline, "Queen hands over the reigns to Prince Charles - historic step closer to a new king" was an exaggeration. Queen Elizabeth is not literally handing over the reigns just yet, but is merely starting to slowly transfer some of her duties to her first-in-line successor Prince Charles. The first step in this transfer is a merging of their two press offices.
Some interesting facts reported in the Mirror article:
Her Majesty turns 88 in April, but "is still in excellent health", and "is already the oldest ever British monarch".
Elizabeth II has reigned for 62 years, just one year less than her great-great-grandmother Victoria.
Charles is now 65, an age at which many people retire from their work.
Princes (and former military helicopter pilots) William and Harry will be focusing "more on their royal duties".
Considering that the queen's mother, also named Elizabeth, lived to be over 100, longevity seems to run in the current edition of the British royal family. Thus, there's no telling when Charles and William will each take their place on the throne. In any event, go here to read the story.