Royal poll result: Who you think should deputise for King Charles III

Princess Anne and Edward ‘called up from reserves’ says Whitfeld

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Princess Anne and Prince Edward have been backed by readers as worthy of deputising for King Charles III, a new poll has found. The Sovereign has initiated a new bill to allow the addition of his siblings as Counsellors of State and enable them to temporarily fulfil constitutional duties in his absence.

Buckingham Palace has told the Government that non-working members of the Royal Family will not be called upon to fulfil royal duties. This means that Prince Andrew and Prince Harry will no longer be able to stand in for the King. 

Instead, only working members of the Firm will be expected to act as Counsellors of State. Counsellors can deputise for the Sovereign in their absence, due to ill health or travel abroad, and conduct some of their official duties.

Members of the House of Lords were told on Monday, November 21, by the Lord Privy Seal that this measure will act as a “practical solution and safeguard to ensure that the machinery of Government can continue”.

Peers met to debate the new Counsellors of State Bill, which would allow two more stand-ins – Anne and Edward – added to widen the pool of royals eligible to conduct official duties for the Sovereign.

Under the 1937 Regency Act, the Counsellor of State positions were reserved for the Sovereign’s spouse and the next four members of the Royal Family in line to the throne aged over 21, regardless of their status. This means the King’s Counsellors are his Queen Consort Camilla, Prince William and non-working royals Andrew, Harry and Princess Beatrice.

In a poll that ran from 1pm on Tuesday, November 15, to  7:30am on Tuesday, November 22, asked readers: “Who do you think should deputise for King Charles?”

In total, 20,573 votes were cast by 7,657 readers each selecting up to four Counsellors from the list. Overall, Anne was the most favourable, with 35 percent of votes cast (7,118 people), followed by William, with 31 percent (6,407 people).

A further 29 percent (5,916 people) voted in favour Edward and three percent (745 people) backed Beatrice. Non-working royals Harry and Andrew each received one percent of the vote with 213 and 174 people backing them respectively.

In the comments left below the accompanying article, hundreds of readers shared their thoughts on who should be Counsellor of State.

Many readers praised the Princess Royal for her dedication to the Firm, with username rabey describing her as “a safe pair of dependable hands” for Charles to rely on.

Username DonnaM12 wrote: “Princess Anne has proved herself a loyal, dependable and consistent worker. That’s my idea of a stand-in.”

Username citizen51 remarked: “The answer to this is simple, it’s Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne. A highly capable and driven individual who will take the role in her stride, She truly is her mother’s daughter.”

And username 193744 said: “My choice is Princess Anne. She would be great and has lots of knowledge learnt from Her Majesty.”


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Meanwhile, some readers showed support for the Prince of Wales in their comments, with username SaraMay writing: “There is only one obvious answer, Prince William, he is the only one being prepared for Kingship.”

Another, username Kittykat100, said: “Given the roles they play in supporting the King, I would say Prince William, Princess Anne and Prince Edward.”

Similarly, username Marzipan!: said: “Princess Anne, Prince William and Prince Edward.”

And username dawn5651 added: “I chose William, Anne and Edward, keeping in mind that Camilla is also a Counsellor of State.”

Other readers argued in favour of Andrew and Harry having the privilege removed. Username BDTom said: “I think Camilla, William, Anne, Edward and either Kate or Sophie. Andrew and Harry should be removed now!”

Username Saralzh added: “It should be Anne, Edward and William. Totally get rid of Harry, Andrew and Beatrice.”

While username Debby Fry said: “Anne and Edward added, Andrew and Harry and Beatrice removed.”

Lord Janvrin, an independent crossbencher, said at the Bill’s second reading: “The present pool of working members of the Royal Family who are eligible and available to be Counsellor of State is for reasons which are well known very small. The addition of the Earl of Wessex and the Princess Royal makes very good practical sense.”

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