King Charles III's plans for a leaner monarchy are already being put to the test shortly after he took office. This is due to two of the monarch's closest relatives - his younger son Prince Harry and his brother Prince Andrew. For different reasons, both are no longer "working royals", i.e. they do not appear publicly on behalf of the royal family. Nevertheless, both continue to belong to the Council of State as "Counselors of State", i.e. the body made up of family members that appoints the king's representatives if the head of state is prevented from attending due to illness or a stay abroad.
This is subject to criticism. Many in the UK are pissed off at the thought that Andrew, of all people, fell out of favor for his involvement in a sex abuse scandal, or Harry, who voluntarily gave up royal duties when moving to the US and subsequently faced harsh criticism on the The royal family said they could step in for Charles on official occasions. In such cases, a Council of State should be elected who "actually carries out royal duties or at least some of them," Dominic Hubbard, known as Lord Addington, recently warned in the House of Lords.
When the king is unwell
Currently, the Regency Act, introduced in 1937, provides for five Councils of State. These are the monarch's spouse and the next four adults over the age of 21 in line to the throne. Since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, these are King's wife Camilla, heir to the throne Prince William as the eldest son of Charles, Harry, Andrew and his eldest daughter Princess Beatrice. If the monarch is unwell, he can delegate some of his duties to two of these councillors. For example, they can sign documents or receive letters of accreditation from new ambassadors.
Removing Andrew and Harry from the Council of State is also ruled out. The affront would be too great. Despite the abuse scandal, Andrew was considered the favorite son of Charles' mother Queen Elizabeth II. With Harry, it's a little more complicated.
Fragile family peace
The relationships between Charles and his younger son are already considered to be heavily burdened. The 38-year-old had repeatedly attacked his father in particular when he and his wife, Duchess Meghan, accused the palace of a lack of empathy. Harry's eagerly awaited biography is also scheduled to be released on January 10th. According to the media, the Queen's grandson hastily revised and toned down the book, which had already been expected in the autumn, after the death of his beloved grandmother on September 8th. Nevertheless, "Spare" should cause a stir and possibly new disputes - this is suggested by the title, which can be translated as "superfluous" or "spare part". If Charles throws his son out of the Council of State, he would create another construction site, Royals experts are convinced.
The solution could therefore be: not fewer state councilors, but more. The Telegraph newspaper reported on Thursday that the relevant British law should be changed so that Charles' youngest brother Prince Edward and his sister Princess Anne could be reappointed as "counselors". The monarch would thus significantly weaken the importance of Harry and Andrew, but at the same time preserve the fragile family peace, the paper wrote.