For the first time in at least ten years, Her Majesty's official jobs were changed this week in the annual Sovereign Grant report from the Palace. The State Opening of Parliament, which was once deemed obligatory by constitutional convention, has been eliminated.
Royal family support
The latest version of the monarch’s job description puts more emphasis on the comprehensive support of the Royal Family, reports Mirror. The 73-year-old Prince Charles is poised to take on some of the more demanding elements of Her Majesty’s job role. The report reads:
The Queen is greatly assisted by other members of the Royal Family who undertake official duties on behalf of Her Majesty.
Her function now ‘encompasses a range of parliamentary and diplomatic duties,’ replacing the previous 13-point list of specified responsibilities that also included receiving state visits and selecting Prime Ministers. The latest report is presented in a more vague manner with generic definitions of specific engagements. However, two essential components still make up the Queen's role - Head of State and Head of Nation.
As the Head of State – The Queen ‘provides a sense of continuity, a focus for loyalty and an assurance of political independence and neutrality for’ institutions like the judiciary and armed forces.
As the Head of Nation – her role comprises four significant elements - 'unity and national identity, continuity and stability, achievement and success and support of service.’
Prince Charles takes over
As the 96-year-old Monarch cut back on several engagements she used to carry out due to mobility issues, the Prince of Wales takes over most of her tasks. In a remarkable break with tradition, Prince Charles was given permission to make the broadcast speech about the government's legislative agenda.
The future king has since then been to several foreign countries on behalf of the Queen, notably to attend the most recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. However, the Palace insiders played down the significance of the modifications, claiming that they were not drastic changes but rather minor post-Jubilee adjustments.