Europe

‘Absurd’ for King to have non-working royals able to deputise

King Charles' Counsellors of State 'under review' says host

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King Charles III should remove non-working royals from being his Counsellors of State, a new poll of Express.co.uk readers has found. At present, just two of the monarch’s deputies are working royals. As a result, the King is facing increasing calls to modify the law and appoint new Counsellors. The 1937 Regency Act dictates that the positions can be held by the spouse of the sovereign and the next four royals aged over 21 in the line of succession, regardless of their status. This means that the King’s Counsellors are Queen Consort Camilla, Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice.

Royal commentator Jonathan Sacerdoti told Express.co.uk: “There is some rumour or discussion about whether or not he will change the rules over who can deputise for the monarch, for example in cases where the monarch is incapacitated through health.”

He added: “It is thought he is considering making it more restricted to the adult working royals, which would of course exclude Prince Harry and Prince Andrew. 

“And that would be understandable if he did push to do that and have it cleared through Parliament because just on a practical level, which means we put personal and emotional concerns aside, it doesn’t seem to make sense that someone who lives in America would be anywhere in the line for actually deputising for the King of the United Kingdom, it doesn’t make sense.”

In response, Express.co.uk ran a poll from midday on Tuesday, October 25, to 2:30pm on Thursday, October 27, asking readers: “Should King Charles III remove non-working royals as Counsellors of State?”

A total of 15,219 people responded with the overwhelming majority, 98 percent (14,926 people) answered “yes” in favour of the King removing non-working royals as Counsellors.

Meanwhile, two percent (252 people) said “no” he should not, and a further 41 people said they did not know.

Hundreds of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on the King’s Counsellors of State.

The majority of readers were in agreement that non-working royals should not hold such positions, with username JET writing: “It’s a no-brainer really, of course, he should.”

Username gillmags said: “Yes and get on with it, please. Should have been done a long while ago.”

Another, username sam the man wrote: “If they don’t work for the royal family they should not be allowed to cover for them.”

Username jojune said: “It is absurd to have non-working members as Counsellors of State. The unqualified people who know nothing about the protocols or the role…is dangerous indeed.”

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Some readers suggested other royals who should be considered for the roles. Username Angisan said: “Non-working royals, particularly Andrew and Harry should no longer have the authority to act for King Charles in any way. 

“There are other hard-working senior members of the family much better suited and respected to act on behalf of the King if necessary. Princess Anne and Prince Edward to name but two.”

Username alexa10 said: “Yes, Andrew and Harry should be removed as soon as Parliament can implement the change and Princess Anne and Prince Edward should be the replacements, both are working Royals and dedicated to the monarchy!”

And username UKGB wrote: “Absolutely. Only working Royals should hold that position. Andrew, Beatrice, and Harry should be removed ASAP, [lacing Anne, Edward and Sophie in their place.”

Constitutional commentator Dr Craig Prescott said: “Obvious candidates include Princess Anne and Prince Edward, you may even think about the Duke of Gloucester perhaps.”

He added that it might be “quite nice” for the Princess of Wales to also be given the role and work alongside William.

Meanwhile, former editor of the Daily Star, Dawn Neesom, told GB News that Princess Anne and Sophie, Countess of Wessex were “worthy” of the job.

The Counsellors of State are able to conduct the Monarch’s official duties in their absence by attending Privy Council meetings and signing official documents. Yet some constitutional functions can only be carried out by the Sovereign, including Commonwealth matters, the dissolution of Parliament and the ability to appoint a new Prime Minister.

They are rarely called upon and can only exercise powers for the Monarch in times of ill health or absence abroad. Charles as the Prince of Wales and William stepped in for Queen Elizabeth II at the state opening of Parliament in May.

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