The future of the ‘slimmed down’ Monarchy: Charles is set to use reign to overhaul the future of the Royal family – so will Harry and Andrew be out in the cold forever?
- Royal watchers say King Charles has wanted to cut back Monarchy for a smaller core ‘for a very long time’
- King Charles reportedly wants to turn the Monarchy into a much ‘leaner machine’ with ‘less to gossip about’
- Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will have a key role, along with wife Camilla who will serve as Queen Consort
- Prince Edward and wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, along with Princess Anne, also likely to have a ‘key role’
- Prince Andrew, who stepped back from royal duties in 2019 over sex assault allegations, is likely to miss out
- Also likely to miss out is Prince Harry, King Charles’ youngest son, after moving to US with Meghan Markle
King Charles III could be set to launch a radical overhaul of the monarchy in the wake of his mother’s death – a move which may leave Princes Harry and Andrew out in the cold forever.
The King’s desire to slim down the front-line Royal Family has long been documented, with experts suggesting Charles wishes to turn the monarchy into a ‘leaner machine’ with ‘less to gossip about’.
Royal watchers believe the former Prince of Wales is keen to ensure there are ‘no hangers-on’ in the Firm, with each member being expected to pull their weight in a new and more streamlined monarchy.
The concept of the ‘slimmed-down monarch’ was clear to see during the Platinum Jubilee in June when the Queen restricted those appearing on the Buckingham Palace balcony to working members of the Royal Family.
But King Charles’ original model, which reportedly involved a tight core of just seven people, including himself, has been thrown into doubt following a series of external events.
The plan, put in motion before the Queen’s death, originally included the long-reigning monarch along with Prince Philip, King Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Kate and Prince Harry.
Philip died aged 99 in 2021, while Harry’s future in the slimmed-down monarchy seems hugely doubtful following his decision to quit front line royal duties and move to America with his wife Meghan Markle.
Meanwhile, Prince Andrew, who would likely have featured in a slimmed-down monarchy as a son of the Queen and King Charles’ brother, has been outcast since his US sex assault lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre.
But that has pushed Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, and Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, into the fray as ‘key’ parts of King Charles’ future monarchy, according to royal watchers.
Meanwhile, experts warn a slimmed-down monarchy could see the royals pull back on its traditional model of attending thousands of engagements each year.
Others warn the number of patroganages could be reduced to allow royals to focus in more detail on a smaller number of key issues – with experts suggesting the environment could become a key part of King Charles’ plans for his reign.
Speaking on UCL Political Science Events podcast in March 2022, Dr Craig Prescott said: ‘I think there are potentially great risks with slimming down the size of the Royal Family, because as Bob [Dr Robert Morris] says, the question is: What is the monarchy meant to do?
‘But I think that the other question is: “What is it going to stop doing?” And you’re going to create, perhaps, some disappointment at the things that then get left out.’
Despite this, and the loss of would-be key members, royal watchers believe Charles will likely to push ahead with plans to slim down the monarchy.
Royal biographer Angela Levin told TalkRadio in May 2021 that the heir apparent has wanted to cut back the core of the working royals ‘for a very long time’ in order to ‘save costs and make people be worth the money that they get from the taxpayer’.
So how exactly could King Charles’ new look monarchy going forward? Here MailOnline explores those who could feature in the front bench, and those who are likely to miss out.
King Charles – The next monarch, who is set to live at Buckingham Palace
As the new King, Charles will be front-and-centre of the new-look monarchy. Alongside his reported desire to slim-down the size of the family, the biggest immediate change will be his residence.
The former Prince of Wales’s official residence has been Clarence House, on The Mall in the City of Westminster, since 2003.
While the Queen’s official residence has been Buckingham Palace, she spent much of her time at her favoured Windsor Castle following the death of her beloved Prince Philip.
As the new king, Charles will be front and centre of the new-look monarchy. The biggest change will be his residence. He will likely move to Buckingham Palace, having resided at Pictured: King Charles at Dumfries House, Scotland
The Queen and the then Prince Charles are seen out walking in Balmoral in October 2021. It was one of the last times the mother and son were pictured together
According to royal biographer Penny Junor in her book ‘The Firm’, the Queen wanted to remain living at Clarence House after her father’s death, but was convinced by Winston Churchill to move to Buckingham Palace – because of its significance as the home of the monarch.
It is believed Kings Charles will follow in his mother’s footsteps and move into Buckingham Palace.
One royal source told the Mail on Sunday in February 2022: ‘There is no question about it. HRH’s view is that you need a monarch at monarchy HQ. This has never been in doubt.
‘The Prince of Wales will not move into Buckingham Palace before he is king. But when he is, he absolutely will.
‘Just like the Queen, it will effectively be in the “flat above the shop”. He feels it is right, just as the Queen does, to work out of Buckingham Palace.
‘The Palace will still be a working and entertaining hub and will also still be open to visitors. It is a hugely important tourist attraction.
‘But the prince can still live there at the same time, much like he does at Highgrove, which is also open to the public.’
It is believed King Charles will follow in his mother’s footsteps and move into Buckingham Palace as king. One royal source told the Mail on Sunday in February: ‘There is no question about it. HRH’s view is that you need a monarch at monarchy HQ. This has never been in doubt.’
His Duke of Cornwall title has gone to William – as is the tradition for the eldest son of the sovereign to inherit the title.
It is not yet clear who will be given his Prince of Wales title. The title was awarded to then Prince Charles by the Queen in 1958 and it will be ultimately be up to Prince Charles if and where that title is bestowed.
If he was to hand out the title, his son would be the obvious choice. However, some believe King Charles will give his Prince of Wales title to his brother, Prince Edward, while others believe he will be given the Duke of Edinburgh title, previously held by his father.
Meanwhile, King Charles is likely to continue championing issues he has already been passionate about – one of the most prominent being climate change. This particular concern looks set to be high on his agenda as monarch.
Camilla, The former Duchess of Cornwall – The Queen Consort, who will join Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace
The former Duchess of Cornwall will have a major role in the new-look monarchy beside King Charles. The 74-year-old will be crowned Queen Consort when Charles becomes King.
The Queen assured the Queen Consort’s future status in an historic Platinum Jubilee statement issued late in February 2022, ending years of uncertainty over the issue.
She declared it was her ‘sincere wish’ for her daughter-in-law to be fully acknowledged when Charles succeeds her.
The former Duchess of Cornwall will have a major role in the new-look monarchy beside King Charles. The 74-year-old will be known as Queen Consort
In her message to the nation – signed ‘Your Servant, Elizabeth R’ – the Queen said: ‘When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.’
Charles and Camilla, who married in 2005, were ‘touched and honoured’ by the Queen’s gesture, Clarence House said at the time.
As the wife of the Prince of Wales for the last 17 years, Camilla has already been doing what a Queen Consort would do.
She is a royal patron to scores of charities and good causes, accompanies her husband on royal tours and meets thousands of people every year, something that is likely to continue.
William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – The newest Duke and Duchess of Cornwall who may inherit Windsor Castle
The first change will be that William will become heir apparent, as King Charles’ eldest child. He will also become the Duke of Cornwall.
The tradition is for the eldest son of the sovereign to hold the title, meaning Prince William will inherit the role. He will also inherit the title of Duke of Rothesay from his father. As his wife, Kate will become the Duchess of Cornwall and Rothesay.
The first change will be that William will become heir apparent, as King Charles’ eldest child. He will also become the Duke of Cornwall. The tradition is for the eldest son of the sovereign to hold the title, meaning Prince William will inherit the role. He will also inherit the title of Duke of Rothesay from his father. As his wife, Kate will become the Duchess of Cornwall and Rothesay.
Royal expert Iain MacMarthanne, speaking in September 2021, said: ‘When Charles inherits the throne the Duke of Cambridge will automatically become Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay amongst other titles that are assumed by the heir to the throne.
‘As his wife, Catherine will become Duchess of Cornwall and Rothesay.’
But it is not clear yet whether he will inherit the Duke of Wales title from his father. The Queen granted King Charles the title in 1958.
And while it has usually is a title bestowed on the eldest son of the monarch, it is for King Charles to decide if he wants to award it and whom to. Some have suggested it will be awarded to King Charles’ brother Prince Edward instead of Prince William.
Mr MacMarthann adds: ‘The title of Prince of Wales is not assumed automatically by the heir to the throne, and remains within the gift of the monarch. In the case of Charles, his mother the Queen created him Prince of Wales in 1958.’
Meanwhile, William and Kate could be on the move – a very short move – as well. It is thought the pair could ultimately inherit Windsor Castle.
Other reports suggest the pair could move into Clarence House, which is due to be vacated by King Charles. However given their recent move to Windsor, it is unlikely.
William and Kate could ultimately inherit Windsor Castle (pictured). Last month they moved from Kensington Palace to Adelaide Cottage to give their children as normal an upbringing as possible
The couple moved to the Windsor Estate just last month and are now living at Adelaide Cottage, a 10-minute walk from Windsor Castle – where the Queen spent much of her time in the final years of her life.
Their three children, George, Charlotte and Louis, are attending nearby Lambrook School, a private co-educational school near Ascot in Berkshire.
Despite moving to Windsor, the pair have kept their work base, including their press team, at Kensington Palace. They had lived there in Apartment 1A since 2017.
The couple also have Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, given to them by the Queen.
Princess Anne, The Princess Royal – The popular second child of the Queen who could have a key role in Charles’ slimmed-down monarchy
The second child of the Queen, Princess Anne has consistently been one of the most popular royals.
The equestrian, who became the first British royal to compete at the Olympics, in 1976, is the fifth most popular royal, according to YouGov.
According to royal experts, she will hold a key role in Charles’ slimmed-down monarchy.
The second child of the Queen, Princess Anne has consistently been one of the most popular royals. According to royal experts, she will hold a key role in Charles’ slimmed-down monarchy
Royal commentator Ian Lloyd, the author of The Duke: A Life in 100 Chapters told Express.co.uk in January 2022: ‘She has a good relationship with Charles. In the next reign, I think, she will be an essential part of the Royal Family.’
It is not clear if she will inherit any titles, however she will remain as the Princess Royal. The title is for life and is granted by the Monarch. Queen Elizabeth II never had the title nor did her sister, Princess Margaret, because it was held by their aunt, Princess Mary, until her death in 1965.
Princess Anne waited more than two decades before she received the title. It is also not clear if Princess Anne will have to slim down her extensive list of patronages as part of the new-look monarch.
The Princess Royal is currently patron to more than 300 different organisations.
Edward and Sophie, Earl and Countess of Wessex – the Queen’s youngest child and his wife who could get a key role in the new slimmed-down monarchy
The youngest child of the Queen, Prince Edward and wife Sophie have developed an ever more prominent role in recent years, following recent royal scandals with other family members.
Prince Andrew has been largely sidelined and removed as a key working royal in the wake of his US sex assault lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre, which he agreed to settle in early 2022, shortly after being stripped of his patronages and military titles.
Meanwhile the pair, who reside at Bagshot Park in Surrey, have taken on a significant chunk of work following the departure of Harry and Meghan from front-line royal duties.
Having plugged the gap left by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex following their move to the US, the Earl and Countess of Wessex were more prominent than almost any other member of the Royal family in the days leading up to Prince Philip’s funeral in 2021.
The youngest child of the Queen, Prince Edward and wife Sophie have developed an ever more prominent role in recent years, following recent royal scandals with other family members
Prior to Covid they had picked up a significant number of royal duties – 544 between them in the last full year pre-pandemic.
As for titles, it is thought Prince Edward will be given the Duke of Edinburgh title, previously held by his father Prince Philip. The title has not been redistributed since his death in 2021.
But former press secretary to the Queen, Dickie Arbiter, told The Sun last year: ‘That Prince Edward will become The Duke of Edinburgh in the next reign was his father’s and is his mother’s wishes and Prince Charles won’t go against those.
‘It won’t happen immediately, but by 2029, when Edward turns 65, it will. Time for speculation, without substance, to cease.’
And who will miss out…?
Prince Andrew has been largely out of frontline royal life since 2019. He was sacked from frontline duties in November following his disastrous Newsnight interview about his relationship to paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein and victim Virginia Roberts.
But it did not end there for Prince Andrew, who then faced a US lawsuit by Ms Roberts – who now goes by her married name of Guiffre.
As pressure and bad publicity continued to pile on Duke of York over the New York civil sex assault case, it was announced in January 2021 that the Prince would lose his royal patronages so he could fight the allegations as a ‘private citizen’.
Prince Andrew has been largely out of frontline royal life since 2019. He was sacked from frontline duties in November following his disastrous Newsnight interview about his relationship to paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein and victim Virginia Roberts
Despite vowing to fight Ms Roberts’ allegations directed against him in the civil case filed in New York – and repeatedly protesting his innocence – Andrew agreed to pay £12million to settle the case before it reached a jury.
Andrew said he would make a ‘substantial donation’ to her charity supporting victims’ rights and also praised her ‘bravery’, saying he had ‘never intended’ to malign her character.
However it appears there is little room for his return to frontline royal duties, even after the Queen’s death.
Prof MacLaren, Of Royal Holloway, University of London, told The i in February 2022: ‘Prince Andrew will be forever tainted badly by this whole episode and so he will be kept firmly out of the public eye and is not likely to resume any official duties.’
But there was surprise in March when Andrew was given a frontline role at the memorial service for the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey.
As well as arriving with the Queen from Windsor, he supported her as she used a walking stick to get to her seat. He then helped her back out of the church and into the Royal limousine at the end of the service.
there was surprise in March when Andrew was given a frontline role at the memorial service for the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey. As well as arriving with the Queen from Windsor, he supported her as she used a walking stick to get to her seat. He then helped her back out of the church and into the Royal limousine at the end of the service
It was later reported that Prince William and King Charles had raised concerns ‘on more than once occasion’ about the optics of allowing the duke to escort the 96-year-old monarch down to her seat at such a well-publicised event.
The future kings were ‘absolutely united’ that it was ‘unnecessary’ for him to have the high profile role, according to The Mirror.
But their protests were overruled by The Queen, who made it her ‘wish and final decision’ in choosing for Andrew to have a special role on the occasion.
Yet Andrew was then banned from the Buckingham Palace balcony for Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, an act which royal experts said proved there was ‘no way back’ for the disgraced duke.
The balcony appearance during the RAF flypast is a traditional staple of Trooping the Colour in particular but had particular resonance because it was being held to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.
A palace spokesman had said that the Queen had made the decision to restrict places on the balcony to working royals.
Andrew had been set to attend the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral but he then pulled out after testing positive for coronavirus.
He then did not appear at the annual Order of the Garter service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, even though eh had been listed on the order of service.
It was reported that Prince Charles and Prince William lobbied the Queen to ensure he did not make a public appearance.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Despite Prince Harry’s father being king, and his brother William heir to the throne, it seems likely that Prince Harry will continue to stay out of frontline royal duties, having continued to stress their happiness in US.
He and wife Meghan Markle quit as senior members of the royal family in January 2020, when an agreement was announced that the couple would ‘no longer be working members of Britain’s royal family’ and would no longer use their HRH titles. The couple later moved to a £12million mansion in Montecito, California.
Initially Prince Charles agreed to help support the couple from his private funds. But by March 2021 the couple’s amiable split from the firm had turned sour, culminating in a bombshell interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey, in which the pair criticised the institution of monarchy.
Despite Prince Harry’s father being king, and his brother William the heir to the throne, it seems likely that Prince Harry will continue to stay out of frontline royal duties
The couple also sparked a royal race row by claiming a senior royal had questioned the skin colour of their as-of-then unborn first child, while Prince Harry said he felt ‘trapped’ as a member of the royal family.
While King Charles is still said to be in ‘regular contact’ with his son, his relationship has ‘not recovered’ since the interview, reported the Telegraph’s Camilla Tominey in March 2022.
She wrote: ‘While Prince Charles is thought to be in regular contact with his youngest son, Harry’s relationship with William has still not recovered from Oprah, after he suggested both his father and his brother felt ‘trapped’ in the Royal family.
One source told the Telegraph: ‘As the Queen has always said, [Prince Harry and Meghan] remain much loved members of the family but it’s not been easy.
‘It’s hard enough for any family to get along but when such intimate details are made public on prime time TV? It’s difficult to put that genie back in the bottle.’
Her Majesty’s decision to restrict the Buckingham Palace balcony appearance at her Platinum Jubilee celebrations to working members of the Royal Family also meant that Harry and Meghan were not invited. Above: Harry and Meghan are seen on the balcony in 2019, behind the Queen and Prince Andrew
Archie – seventh in line to the British throne – is now three years old, and reports previously hinted at the Queen’s sadness at not having the chance to spend more time with him.
The Queen was reunited with Harry and Meghan when they visited the UK during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.
The visit marked the first time that Her Majesty had met Harry and Meghan’s daughter Lilibet, who turned one during the weekend. It was also believed to have been the first time she had seen Archie in more than two years.
But Her Majesty’s decision to restrict the Buckingham Palace balcony appearances during Trooping the Colour and later in the Jubilee weekend to only working royals meant that the public only saw fleeting glimpses of Harry and Meghan.
They watched Trooping the Colour from a balcony on Horse Guards Parade, where they were seen talking to the children of both Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips.
Due to ‘discomfort’ she was suffering as a result of her exertions on June 2, the Queen was not there at the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, which Harry and Meghan did attend.
It was their only official engagement of the entire weekend and there was no sign of reconciliation with King Charles and Prince William, as the couple sat away from senior royals.
Prior to the balcony snub, there were said to be concern among senior royals at the announcement that Harry will publish a tell-all memoir later in 2022. Above: Harry and Meghan with the Queen at Ascot in 2018
Harry and Meghan were then not seen again in public, but did reportedly watch the Platinum Party at the Palace on TV with the Queen at Windsor.
The couple are believed to have flown back to the US before Her Majesty’s Jubilee celebrations had ended.
They returned to Britain this week, staying in Frogmore Cottage as they went to the One Young World summit in Manchester before flying to Dusseldorf to take part in an Invictus Games countdown event.
Previously, there was said to be concern among senior royals at the announcement that Harry will publish a tell-all memoir later in 2022 that could lay bare his true feelings towards his stepmother Camilla.
Harry was collaborating with the Pulitzer-winning ghostwriter JR Moehringer on what was described as ‘the definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him’.
The couple had earlier missed Prince Phillip’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey in March amid their row over the withdrawal of their state-funded security.
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