London: Buckingham Palace has been forced to deny rumours the Queen is abdicating Britain's throne in her annual Christmas Day broadcast, after a bookmaker said it was suspending bets following a flurry of "unusual" activity.
Bookmaker firm Coral said it had been offering odds of 10-1 that the monarch would stand down during the address, which goes out on December 25 at 3pm GMT across every Commonwealth nation, including India.
"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 added.
A spokesperson for Queen Elizabeth II said it was the Palace's policy "not to comment on any bookmakers' work."
The annual Christmas broadcast is used as a personal message from Queen to the Commonwealth nations, touching on the events of the year.
A royal source told The Telegraph: "If the Queen was going to make a major announcement, she wouldn't do it in a pre-recorded speech that is shown in the South Pacific Commonwealth realms several hours before it is shown here.
"It would mean the end of her reign would officially be announced in Tuvalu, rather than in London. So no, it's not true."
It is not the first time Coral has suspended betting on the Queen abdicating.
In January it temporarily closed the market after a 200 pounds wager was placed in Windsor on a 2014 abdication, which followed reports that the Prince of Wales was taking on more of her duties.