King Charles' Counsellors of State 'under review' says host
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Kate, the Princess of Wales could be handed an “unprecedented” vital royal role that would see her assist King Charles III with official business. Kate, along with Princess Anne and Prince Edward, could reportedly be brought into the fold to act as Counsellors of State. King Charles will expand his pool of advisors to five for the first time, providing the monarch with the authority to assist him should he be out of the country or become unwell.
These positions had previously been held by the then Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Andrew and Prince Harry as they were the four royals next in line to the throne and are all over the age of 18.
When he became King following the Queen’s death, it was widely thought Charles would strip Prince Harry and Prince Andrew of the roles as they are now no longer working members of the Royal Family.
But the monarch is now not planning to reshuffle the Royal Family and sideline his son and brother, according to royal sources.
It is understood Charles is planning to expand the Counsellors of State list, with the expectation that he will add three new members to the group.
Royal sources suggest the additions are likely to be Princess Anne, Prince Edward, the Princess of Wales – so no one will be removed.
Dr Craig Prescott, a constitutional expert at Bangor University, told the Daily Mirror: “It makes perfect sense. It deals with the present problem in that there are not enough working royals to act as Counsellors of State.
“This is the simplest way of dealing with the problem. In that the legislation could specifically make Prince Edward and Princess Anne Counsellors of State, adding to those who are already there.
“Adding the Princess of Wales is unprecedented, but this also makes sense.
“As two counsellors of State need to act together, it follows that the Prince and Princess of Wales could act together.
“Overall, this is the simplest way of solving the problem, and the legislation should pass through Parliament without too much difficulty.”
Craig Prescott, a constitutional expert at Bangor University, explained that a quick three or four-line Bill was easy to introduce if Parliament just expanded the pool of counsellors of state but removing Andrew, Harry, and Beatrice would be more legally complicated.
He told an online seminar organised by University College London’s Constitution Unit today: “So, the most straightforward solution is simply to add to the pool of counsellors of state other members of the Royal Family who may well be further down the line of succession but still conduct public duties.
“Obvious candidates include Princess Anne and Prince Edward. You may even think about the Duke of Gloucester perhaps. You may even think about adding others such as the Princess of Wales.
“For some matters, it might be quite nice if the Prince and Princess of Wales act together, for example, accepting Letters of Credence from ambassadors. So, there can be more flexibility.
“If it is done this way then there is no need to specifically remove Prince Harry, Prince Andrew or Princess Beatrice. It would simply be the case that there would always be others who could act instead.”
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