With the shape of the British monarchy expected to change with a new monarch, new reports are emerging that King Charles III might want to change who can stand in for him if he is unable to carry out his duties.
The changes mean that Prince Andrew, Charles’ younger brother; Prince Harry, the king’s second son by Princess Diana; and Princess Beatrice, Andrew’s eldest daughter, would all be eliminated from the list, according to the U.K. Telegraph.
The change, according to the report, would limit those who could serve as what are known as “counselors of state” to only working royal family members.
According to the 1937 Regency Act, a monarch’s spouse and the four adults next in line to the throne can be counselors of state for official business.
Because of the queen’s death, Princess Beatrice would be added to the list, according to the U.K. Express.
This is set by the Regency Act of 1937, rather than being the result of a decision by King Charles. It can only be changed if Parliament changes the law.
Prince Andrew was also a counsellor of state to his mother until the day of her death. It’s separate from ‘royal duties’. https://t.co/jT3SQ9tJn9
— James Ball (@jamesrbuk) September 14, 2022
Prince William and then-Prince Charles served as counselors when they attended the State Opening of Parliament in May.
The Telegraph report said that “Buckingham Palace has long been under pressure to eject Prince Harry and Prince Andrew from their roles and install other working members of the family in their places. It is believed that the King recognizes the incongruity of having a trio of non-working royals able to step into his shoes if he is abroad or incapacitated.”
The report named Prince Edward, the youngest brother of the king, and Princess Anne, his sister, as possible replacements, noting that Princess of Wales Kate Middleton could also be added if the language is changed to alter the requirement that the line of succession dictates who can serve as a counselor.
Any change in the Regency Act would have to be approved by Parliament before Charles could issue it, the Telegraph reported.
In a separate development, the website of OK!, a British magazine that focuses on the royal family and celebrity news, offered a different form of speculation that Charles might seek to cut a deal with his younger son that would allow Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, to serve as part-time working royals.
“This is the new king’s decision and his alone,” the site quoted what it said was an insider as saying. “He has not consulted William or Kate. Most people in the family — and the Palace — would not do this, but Charles wants to prove he is his own man. He doesn’t see this as giving in to Harry and Meghan, but rather giving his reign a chance.
One key to the deal would be stopping plans for Harry to publish a book about his life as a royal.
“Harry and Meghan would be a great asset overseas for [Charles]. He needs to stop them destroying the monarchy. Part of the deal would be Harry’s book needs to disappear in order for this to work,” the source said.
“Charles wants to fix the Harry and Meghan problem,” the site reported a source as saying. “The only way he’s going to stop them being a problem is to give into them, which it looks like he is going to do. Charles’ opinion is it’s better to have them inside the royal tent rather than outside the tent.”
Any changes to the Regency Act must be approved by Parliament.
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