The devil, so the idiom goes, is in the details – but so, it would seem, is the Queen's job.
It is a job, after all, that she was lumped with at only age 25 and yet has still done with admirable conviction, somehow shepherding the monarchy through the advent of modernity, colour television and the hashtag, all while the Empire (quite rightly) crumbled.
We all know the broad strokes of what being the Queen means: She is a symbolic figurehead, opener of large bridges and the one person the Prime Minister can't hang up on.
However, it turns out that Her Majesty has an actual job description and one that Buckingham Palace has been quietly tweaking behind the scenes.
Late last week the palace put out the annual Sovereign Grant report, that is the lengthy document that details exactly how they have spent the $153 million they received from the Crown Estate (via the government) last year to keep the gilded ship afloat.
But buried in there between details about the royal household's carbon footprint and how many tonnes of waste it generated, was a startling admission about the Queen's future that it boils down to this: The 96-year-old is no longer up to the same job she has done for the last seven decades.
For what very well may be the first time during her reign, the specifics, as set out by the palace, about what Her Majesty does, have been rewritten and her list of "official duties" has been cut back.
Last year's Grant report, which I recommend reading if you are ever suffering from persistent insomnia, sets out eight key constitutional duties of the Queen including "the State Opening of Parliament" and "representational duties as Head of State – paying and receiving state visits to and from other heads of states."
However, in this year's report, an equally soporific door stopper of a thing, that list is gone and under the "Head of State" section all we get is this vague declaration: "The Queen's constitutional role encompasses a range of parliamentary and diplomatic duties."
Then we get to the part of her job description as the "Head of Nation".
Last year, this section said "the monarchy provides an important sense of continuity and stability at a time of rapid social, cultural and technological change" and that "the regular rhythm of the monarchy provides reassurance to many people" – all of which made it sound less like an august institution and more like some sweeping societal security blanket.
As of 2021, these lofty goals were "helped" by "recurring traditional events like the State Opening of Parliament, Trooping the Colour, Garter Day, the Royal Maundy Service, Holyrood Week and Royal Ascot Week".
In the 2022 report, this list has been edited to remove the State Opening and the glaring 'but' here is that of these remaining "traditional events", Her Majesty has missed all bar one – Holyrood Week – with Prince Charles having taken over for his mother at the State Opening of Parliament, Trooping the Colour, Garter Day, the Royal Maundy Service and Royal Ascot Week.
Ditto that last year's report said, in non-Covid times: "The Queen normally entertains around 139,000 people a year at garden parties, investitures, receptions, dinners and lunches as a way of acknowledging people's achievements and contributions."
The 2022 version now reads: "The Queen and other members of the royal family in fulfilling a program of tours, garden parties, receptions, investitures and other official entertaining."
This might all sound a bit trivial and yawn-worthy but don't let that fool you or bore you to death: 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.
The Queen, as we knew her before the pandemic and the death of Prince Philip, was a redoubtable, stoic presence who popped up with reassuring regularity in some riotously coloured coat to cut a cake or watch a tree being planted or inspect some new medical wing is gone.
This is Her Majesty's reign ending not with a bang but with weaselly words.
Now sure, before anyone starts sniffling into their official Buckingham Palace face washer (What? You don't have them? You can fix that here) there is of course a bluntly practical dimension to all of this. Her Majesty's "episodic mobility problems" and whatever else might be ailing her clearly prevent her from physically undertaking her duties as sovereign as she once could. Courtiers and aides will clearly have to economise carefully when it comes to the Queen's time and energy going forward.
The added benefit to codifying this obvious shift in the nonagenarian's "program" is that it will also help manage the public's expectations going forward.
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.
In late June, The Sun revealed that, after a lengthy break from riding due to doctor's orders, the Queen is back in the saddle and has been enjoying some "gentle trips" on her ponies.
And that's one thing about Her Majesty that is remarkable: She has a certain wonderful stubbornness of spirit.
Clearly, the Queen is not ready to give up the reins, in any sense.
• Daniela Elser is a royal expert and a writer with more than 15 years' experience working with a number of Australia's leading media titles.