A royal expert is speaking out this week to say that she believes the British monarchy is nearing its “end game,” and that it will not survive past Prince William.

“I think it’s the end game. I don’t know how much longer the institution will go on,” Dame Hilary Mantel told the Telegraph.

“I’m not sure if it will outlast William. So I think it will be their last big era,” added the royal author, who was awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2006 and then made a dame by Prince Charles in 2014.

Mantel went on to question if Queen Elizabeth II was now “the only person who really believes in the monarchy.”

“I wish the Queen had felt able to abdicate … I understand that she thinks of this as a sacred task, from which you simply cannot abdicate, whereas the rest of us think of it as a job, from which you should be able to retire,” she said.

“She believes that she cannot cease to be a monarch — she made those promises to God,” Mantel continued. “It’s such a cliché to say, but what a lonely position to be in. It’s a conflict, because most of the world sees the royal family as a branch of show business. And I’m sure that is very far from the Queen’s own thinking.”

Mantel added that instead, the monarchy has turned into a “self-punishing institution.”

“No other family would be expected to parade a very elderly, newly widowed lady before the TV cameras, and yet it’s taken for granted that’s what will happen,” she said, referring to the heartbreaking photos of the Queen sitting alone at the funeral of Prince Philip, her husband of 73 years.

“Just as it’s taken for granted that a new royal mother will appear beaming on the hospital steps within a day of giving birth,” Mantel explained. “There’s no legitimate public interest behind it.”

Mantel later declined to weigh in on the claims made by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in their interview with Oprah Winfrey back in March.

“I wouldn’t judge them,” she said. “And I don’t believe we will ever know, really, what has happened there. So I just wish them well.”

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