Columnist Daniela Elser made the comments following the 96-year-old monarch’s role being rewritten and scaled back by Buckingham Palace. Ms Elser said the move was a “startling admission about the Queen’s future”.
Writing for news.com.au, she said: “The 96-year-old is no longer up to the same job she has done for the last seven decades.
“This is the first time since her health crisis began in October last year that the palace has explicitly admitted that Her Majesty can no longer do her full job.
“Moreover, what the palace has just done is admit that things are never likely going back to the way they once were for Her Majesty.”
Ms Elser said the Queen’s episodic mobility issues “clearly prevent her from physically undertaking her duties as sovereign as she once could”.
She added: “But really what matters here is the symbolism, which is, after all, the bread and butter of monarchy.
“What the palace has just done is officially signal that the era of the Queen as a visible fixture in British life. The Queen as a comforting constant, is largely over.
“Sure, we can expect a regular trickle of photos and short videos put out via the Queen’s official channels of her gamely Zooming with a governor-general here and there or the bizarre Franken-engagement that is seeing Her Majesty accept the diplomatic credentials of some newly arrived ambassador via video call.
“But is a reign conducted almost exclusively behind closed doors really a reign at all? All of this is completely uncharted territory.”
Ms Elser’s comments come after the monarch’s job description was edited in the Sovereign Grant report released last week.
The new version puts greater emphasis on other members of the Royal Family supporting the Queen, who recently celebrated her historic Platinum Jubilee.
According to the annual report, the monarch’s role comprises two key elements: Head of State and Head of Nation.
Her duties as Head of State were previously detailed in a list of 13 points including the State Opening of Parliament.
But the updated version replaces the points with a more vague description that the role “encompasses a range of parliamentary and diplomatic duties”.
The second part, the symbolic role of Head of Nation, is carried out by the Queen “where appropriate or necessary”.
Concern for the 96-year-old’s health has been heightened since she spent a night in hospital last October.
The monarch, who is suffering from ongoing mobility problems, now regularly uses a walking stick and rarely carries out engagements outside of her royal residences.
In a message at the end of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations last month, the Queen pledged to continue “serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family”.