top of page

Anne And Edward To Become Stand-Ins For King

King Charles has begun the process of increasing the number of royals who can stand in for the monarch for official duties - with Princess Anne and Prince Edward proposed as additions.

At present, the ''counsellors of state'' are Camilla, the Queen Consort, plus four other senior royals.

But two of these are Prince Andrew and Prince Harry, who are no longer available as ''working royals''.

A message from the King proposing the change was read to the House of Lords.

It's expected that the Lords will reply on Tuesday - and it will be up to the Cabinet Office to push ahead with changes in legislation.

This move in Parliament is intended to resolve an awkward constitutional problem about who could be deputies for the King if he was overseas or unwell and could not carry out his duties as head of state.

At present two of the five eligible to act as counsellors are effectively ruled out - with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, no longer carrying out royal duties and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, living in the United States.

Rather than remove them from the list of counsellors of state, the proposal is to widen the pool of eligible royals, so that the availability of Prince Andrew and Prince Harry would cease to be an issue.

Lord Parker of Minsmere delivered a statement from the King which called for Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, and Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, to be added as extra counsellors of state.

The statement said that the extra counsellors would ''ensure the continued efficiency of public business when I'm unavailable, such as while I'm undertaking official duties overseas''.

This will mean amending the Regency Act, which at present stipulates that counellors are the spouse of the monarch plus the next four royals in succession to the throne, who are over the age of 21.

The current counsellors are Camilla, the Queen Consort; Prince William, the Prince of Wales; Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and his daughter, Princess Beatrice.

They can carry out official duties which could include the state opening of Parliament, signing documents, receiving ambassadors or attending Privy Council meetings, if the monarch is temporarily ill or abroad.

It is expected that King and Queen and Prince and Princess of Wales could be undertaking overseas visits next year, so counsellors could be a necessity when they are away.

Last month the issue was raised in the House of Lords, with Labour peer Viscount Stansgate challenging how Prince Andrew and Prince Harry could be two of the five replacements when one had ''left public life'' and the other had ''left the country''.



bottom of page