King Charles 'seeks law to change who can act as his stand-in to block non-working royals'

King Charles III reportedly wants the law changed so only working members of the Royal Family can be counsellors of state

Published

If it goes ahead, the King's move would see Prince Andrew, Prince Harry and Princess Beatrice relieved of their duties.

As it stands, the trio are among a select few who can stand in for the sovereign should he be indisposed.

The 1937 Regency Act maps out that the monarch's spouse, and the four adults next in line to the throne, can be deployed as counsellors of state on official business.

The King, Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew were all counsellors while Queen Elizabeth II was on the throne.

As was Prince Philip, before his death in 2021.

Prince Harry could be demoted while Princess Anne promoted
Prince Harry could be demoted while Princess Anne promoted
Changes to the Regency Act could see Prince Andrew stripped of his role as a counsellor of state
Changes to the Regency Act could see Prince Andrew stripped of his role as a counsellor of state

After the late monarch's death, the change in the line of succession means Princess Beatrice is entitled to be a counsellor – as the next adult in line.

The same applies to Queen Consort Camilla, as she is the current monarch's spouse.

Buckingham Palace was under pressure to eject Harry and Andrew prior to Queen Elizabeth II's death, according to The Telegraph.

The newspaper adds that the King recognises this and is keen to rectify the situation.

It is believed he is hopeful of a law-change, paving the way for Princess Anne and Prince Edward – both working royals – to be promoted.

Such a move may form part of a wider redefinition of working and non-working royals.

Any change in legislation would have to be enacted by the Houses of Parliament.

In the past, changes have been made to the Regency Act by MPs in response to a formal “message” from the monarch, asking parliamentarians to consider particular amendments.

In 1953, provisions were put forward to ensure that if a child of Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh acceded to the throne before turning 18, Prince Philip would become Regent.

The amendments were laid in Parliament as a new Regency Act, by Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, the then Home Secretary.