The Telegraph reported that King Charles III seeks to amend the 1937 Regency Act, meaning non-working royals, like Prince Harry or Prince Andrew can no longer stand in for His Majesty should he be unable to fulfil his duties.
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What is a counsellor of state?
As explained on Royal.uk, two or more counsellors of state are appointed by Letters Patent to temporarily act on behalf of the reigning Monarch, should they be unable to fulfil their duties.
By law, Counsellors of State include the Sovereign’s spouse and the next four people in the line of succession, who are over the age of 21.
Counsellors of state are permitted to carry out most official duties on behalf of the Sovereign. Only a handful of constitutional duties are impossible to delegate.
In the case of King Charles III, his counsellors of state are Camilla, Queen Consort, his sons Prince William and Prince Harry, brother Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice, his niece.
Why does King Charles III wish to amend the Regency Act?
Despite being rarely called upon, King Charles III is reportedly contemplating rewriting the law to prevent non-working royals from being counsellors of state, according to The Independent.
The debate isn’t a new one. The Independent reports that it reignited when the Queen had a COVID scare. The then-Prince Charles had also contracted COVID, and Prince William was in Dubai. Prince Harry lived in the US and Prince Andrew was caught up in his multi-million-dollar lawsuit.
Of King Charles III’s five counsellors of state, only two are working royals. Experts told iNews that protocol needed ‘a radical rethink’ because Princess Anne, who is considered to be one of the most hard-working members of the Royal Family, is excluded from this position.
According to the publication, the King understands the discrepancy of having three non-working royals able to stand in for him.
It is thought that Princess Anne could take on the role, as well as King Charles III’s youngest brother Prince Edward.
iNews speculates that Catherine, Princess of Wales could even be included if the appointment to the role is no longer solely dependent on the line of succession.
The National suggests that bigger changes are on the horizon, such as clearly defining the position of working and non-working royals.
- iNews: King Charles III set to change law to stop non-working royals from acting as official stand-in