Royal POLL: Should the King remove non-working royals as Counsellors of State?

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King Charles III is facing increasing calls to modify the law regarding who can stand in for him as the Sovereign due to illness or absence abroad. But should he remove non-working royals as Counsellors of State? Vote in our poll.

Under the 1937 Regency Act, the Counsellor of State position is reserved for the spouse of the sovereign and the next four royals in line to the throne aged over 21, regardless of their status.

This means at present, the King’s Counsellors of State are Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice alongside the King’s Queen Consort Camilla.

Counsellors have the power to carry out the official duties of the monarch, including attending Privy Council meetings and signing routine documents. However, some “core constitutional functions” cannot be conducted such as matters relating to the Commonwealth, the dissolving of Parliament or the appointment of a new Prime Minister.

Royal commentator Jonathan Sacerdoti told Express.co.uk: “There is some rumour or discussion about whether or not he will change the rules over who can deputise for the monarch, for example in cases where the monarch is incapacitated through health.”

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He explained: “It is thought he is considering making it more restricted to the adult working royals, which would of course exclude Prince Harry and Prince Andrew.

“And that would be understandable if he did push to do that and have it cleared through Parliament, because just on a practical level, which means we put personal and emotional concerns aside, it doesn’t seem to make sense that someone who lives in America would be anywhere in the line for actually deputising for the King of the United Kingdom, it doesn’t make sense.”

Speculation over whether the King would change the Recency Act started just weeks into his reign in mid-September when The Telegraph claimed that he is “thought likely to take the relevant steps to have the law changed as soon as he can”.

A change in the law could see senior members of the Firm who are low in the line of succession be elevated to hold the positions, such as Princess Anne and Prince Edward.

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The Regency Act reform was raised in the House of Lords on Monday, October 24. The Government did not rule out making any changes but said consideration would need to take place in consultation with the Royal Family.

In response to this, Daily Express Royal Editor Richard Palmer tweeted: “The word from the palace last week was that no decision has been taken about this yet. The new King risks a public backlash if he goes abroad with the Queen Consort and one of his two required stand-ins is Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, or Princess Beatrice.”

The King is reportedly planning the biggest-ever series of royal tours to kick off his reign and “extend a hand of friendship and support” to a number of Commonwealth members. This has sparked further discussions over who should stand in for the monarch.

Despite the importance of the position it is rare for Counsellors of State to be needed. Charles, when he was the Prince of Wales, and William used their role to step in for Queen Elizabeth II once during her last year during the state opening of Parliament.

So what do YOU think? Should King remove non-working royals as his Counsellors of State? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.



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