King Charles expands the Counsellors of State list instead of removing Harry

Pretty much as soon as Prince Harry moved to America with his wife and son, Salt Island has been ripping out their hair over a million different things. They’ve been searching for a cudgel, or something to hold over Harry’s head. They settled on the “counsellors of state” issue. That was one of their big worrystones for years – whether Harry would ever be “removed” as Counsellor of State. Under QEII, Harry was made one of the counsellors simply because of his place in the line of succession and his age – while George and Louis are higher in the line of succession, they’re still children, obviously. So this worrying and panicking over Harry’s position was still happening up until the day QEII passed away. She never changed or updated diddly squat. King Charles began to make his moves to change the counsellors of state a few months ago, and on his 74th birthday, there was an update in the House of Lords.

King Charles has begun the process of increasing the number of royals who can stand in for the monarch for official duties – proposing Princess Anne and Prince Edward as additions. At present the “counsellors of state” are Camilla, the Queen Consort, plus four other senior royals. But two of these are Prince Andrew and Prince Harry, who are no longer available as “working royals”.

The King’s requested change was read to the House of Lords on Monday. It’s expected that the Lords will reply on Tuesday – and the same day could see the government introducing legislation in the House of Commons, with a Counsellors of State Bill paving the way for the King’s proposal for two extra working substitutes. This rapid move in Parliament is intended to resolve an awkward constitutional problem about who could deputise for the King if he was overseas or unwell and could not carry out his duties as head of state.

At present two of the five eligible to act as counsellors are effectively ruled out. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, withdrew from royal duties in the wake of his association with US sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, lives with his family in the United States and has stepped back from being a “working royal”.Rather than remove them from the list of counsellors of state, the proposal is to widen the pool of eligible royals, so that the availability of Prince Andrew and Prince Harry would cease be an issue.

In the House of Lords, Lord Parker of Minsmere delivered a statement from the King which called for Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, and Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, to be added as extra counsellors of state. The statement said that adding the extra counsellors would “ensure continued efficiency of public business when I’m unavailable, such as while I’m undertaking official duties overseas”.

[From BBC]

While I’m loath to give Charles credit for anything, I think this was a somewhat elegant solution to the issue, which probably will come up at some point. It was actually an issue last year, when QEII was hospitalized overnight, her staff covered up her hospitalization and then-Prince Charles was out of the country, as was Prince William (he was on vacation, big surprise). If there had been a constitutional emergency, Prince Andrew would have been the only counsellor of state in the country who could have acted on QEII’s behalf. Now Anne, Edward, William and Camilla can step in as the primary counsellors of state on KC3’s behalf. Meanwhile, they’re not even going to formally remove Degenerate Andrew from the list, nor Harry.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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37 Responses to “King Charles expands the Counsellors of State list instead of removing Harry”

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  1. UnstrungPearl says:

    I guess it’s the ‘diplomatic’ solution but it really annoys me that Andrew and Harry are continually grouped together like they are both bad.
    I guess they’re both still in the line of succession so they’d have to be removed from that to be excluded from things like this? Idk how it works, monarchy is stupid.

    • Lizzie says:

      It’s a good solution to add to the CoS’s but there’s no reason to remove Harry. Harry is still fifth in line to the throne and has a home in Windsor. No, he cannot stand in for Charles with 15 minutes warning but if it was urgent, he could be there in hours.

  2. ML says:

    It would not have bothered me personally had Pennington removed Paedrew and Harry. It’s clear that for 2 very different reasons, KC cannot call on them to fill in for him and I don’t see that as entirely problematic. What led to H&M leaving, yes, but now that H is gone, no. That said, I do feel that Paedrew should have been taken off that list of counselors of state! And I’m afraid that KC added his other siblings to the list to help his younger brother. 🙁

  3. BayTampaBay says:

    Does Charles III have more common sense than I gave him credit for??? It appears he does.

  4. Moderatelywealthy says:

    Whoever thought of this solution deserves more than 600 pounds as bonus because it is very smart. It is fair to Hurry, who did nothing wrong; it prevents Andrew from going rogue by seeing his role diminish even further without really dealing with his pervert ways and it makes Chaz looks luke a not so shitty brother,as it rewards Anne’s hard work a d it gives something to Edward to look forward to.

  5. Harper says:

    It will be Anne whom C-Rex turns to first. Which bodes well for the monarchy, IMO, but expect aggressions against the Wessexes if Edward ever gets the call over Burger King.

    • Chrissy says:

      Am I wrong in thinking that Edward’s appointment is a tiny crumb being thrown his way instead of ‘gifting’ him the Duke of Edinburgh title?

  6. aquarius64 says:

    Why aren’t Beatrice and Eugenie formally considered to be Counsellors of State? They are higher in the line of succession than Anne and Edward; in fact Beatrice is technically CoS now because of Charles’ ascension. This is still messy. Chuck is on the throne for over two months and still reigns like an idiot.

    • Pumpkin (Was Sofia) says:

      Beatrice is a counsellor. My guess is that Eugenie wasn’t considered because she’s not a working royal. Anne and Edward are so if Charles can “choose” who deputises for him, it’s understandable to pick the “working royals” over the one who isn’t.

    • equality says:

      They do sort of gloss over Bea and Eugenie. I would think that means KC doesn’t really consider Bea as a viable stand-in either. He will use Cam, W&K, Anne and Ed.

    • Sms says:

      I think they want to restrict it to working royals and none of the Yorks qualify.

  7. Becks1 says:

    Isn’t Beatrice a counsellor of state currently? so the whole thing about being a “working royal” has nothing to do with it, so I don’t know why the BBC is insisting it does.

    In general though I think this is a good solution. It’s not removing Harry, its just adding Anne and Edward which is a good move bc I think Anne is probably the best option anyway.

    • Lauren says:

      That’s what bothers me about all the reporting as well, like the problem isn’t that Harry is no longer a working royal its that he lives in California.

      It seems like Charles is trying to rewrite the rules of precedence to no longer tie in with the order of succession.

    • windyriver says:

      As I recall, the original act says nothing about being a “working royal”, it’s solely about place in the line of succession, and age. And, a minimum of two counsellors are supposed to be appointed to fulfill the role of standing in for the monarch, not just one.

      It makes sense to exclude Harry, because he’s no longer primarily living in England (same can be said for Eugenie, who’s not technically eligible to be a counsellor yet anyway). Obviously no one wants to have Andrew anywhere near a position like that (or be working with him!) and he wouldn’t be selected. Since it’s clear Charles hasn’t wanted the York girls as working royals, they’d likely shy away from using Beatrice, plus she may lack the knowledge or experience. That leaves only the pair of Camilla and Will to work together. Who knows what kind of relationship those two really have; who knows what Charles really thinks about Will’s abilities – plus Will doesn’t always seem to be around.

      So, including Anne and Edward makes sense. Assume it’s also easier – certainly from a PR standpoint, but possibly from a legal standpoint – to add a couple of counsellors, rather than remove two in the direct line of succession.

  8. Noor says:

    Much ado about nothing. Every PM or President has one deputy only. The King should also have one deputy who is the Prince of Wales. Why need 5 counsellors of state.

  9. Sue E Generis says:

    I’ve come to think that the reason the RF is not harsher on Andrew and hesitant to do anything that would definitively cut him off is that he’s not the only sexual predator in the family. And he knows exactly where all the bodies are buried. so he will remain in limbo the rest of his life or until KC3 decides to ‘get rid of him’ like Diana, Kanga et al.

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      Indubitably. His favorite uncle probably molested him so he doesn’t see it as a big deal. I wonder about Charles myself too. Maybe there’s more to the reasons why William won’t let him play with or be alone with or spend any time with his grandkids….

  10. Pumpkin (Was Sofia) says:

    It’s not a bad solution IMO. Officially removing them means press attention but just expanding the list means Charles can keep them counsellors on paper but never really have to use them.

  11. Louise177 says:

    For the life of me I still don’t know why this is such a big deal. The BM is trying to sell it it as humiliation for Harry when it is quite logical. He lives on another continent. He couldn’t do any duties if he wanted to. If it’s signing papers obviously Camilla and Willing can do it. Much ado about nothing. Besides he was a counselor for QEII and wasn’t used.

  12. Amy Bee says:

    Apparently Anne and Edward were Counsellors of State before but were removed when William and Harry became of age. So Charles is just reverting to how it was before. The question I have is why is the Royal Family focusing on working royals? The non-working royals remain in the line of succession. If the Royal Family wants to exclude non-working royals from matters of state then they have to removed from the line of succession. I’ve said in the past that this emphasis on the “working royal” is going bite them in the ass one of these days and I’m here for it.

    • tamsin says:

      They literally have hundreds of people still considered in the line of succession to the British throne. A cut-off number has never been suggested.

  13. tamsin says:

    Didn’t this solution originate from the House of Lords and proposed to Charles? I thought I had read that somewhere, but can’t remember where. It’s a rather practical solution, rather than punitive, which would be more along the lines of Charles’s thinking.

  14. Cessily says:

    How many times in history has this even been used? Seems like a lot of noise and drama over something that is irrelevant. They are figureheads, and with easy access communications now this just seems like an excuse to create an issue where there is none.

    • SarahCS says:

      But that’s the problem, legally/constitutionally they are still a critical cog in the machine. That needs to change.

  15. SarahCS says:

    It bothers me that we still need to have this conversation in 2022. We have a (mostly) functional and (mostly – don’t get me started on the House of Lords and never mind the latest PM) elected government. We need to cut the final ties to the monarchy and get them out of politics.


  16. Maxine Branch says:

    I doubt seriously if Harry is concerned re this change. Amazing to me this change should be for those folks residing in the UK. Harry made his decision with his whole chest to remove himself and his children from his relatives in the UK. Therefore, he could probably careless about who is in charge should the unforeseen happens. Much to do about nothing to me.

  17. Flower says:

    I actually think this decision makes sense.

    There is no need to remove Harry – so this walks the middle ground.

  18. Athena says:

    If something were to happen to William they will need Harry to guide George, the boy king. So for all the remove Harry from counselor of state, take away his title, they know that they, as a matter of precaution, need to keep him in the fold.

    • Lady D says:

      If something did happen wouldn’t George have counsellors of state also, and would the men in grey let Harry near George?

      • JaneBee says:

        @LadyD That would be such a conundrum for the vipers if the scenario ever arose: who can we better manipulate while maintaining our snobbery – CarolE/Khate or Harry? I assume the British public would support Harry over CarolE/Khate as regent.

      • SomeChick says:

        there are laws around all of this. if George were to become king while a minor, there would be an adult regent, which would automatically be Harry based on the line of succession. (and wouldn’t that be interesting!)

        it’s all a game of hang on to the crown no matter what. and since they can’t bump each other off or send anyone to the tower anymore, they have to be strategic.

        this is also why “working royal” doesn’t mean anything as far as who is counsellor of state – all of these things are already specified in the law.

        in any case, Anne is the obvious first choice. Kate doesn’t qualify, she’s just a wife. everything she has comes via her gawdawful husband. (also she would be terrible at it. she can’t even do a basic meet and greet in a professional manner.)

  19. Well Wisher says:

    The usual eg. Levin was crowing that it was a demotion, until the inevitable question.
    How can one be demoted, if one has already quit?

  20. Lionel says:

    Makes sense to me. I assume this counselor system was cooked up centuries ago, when people traveled less, princes weren’t likely to move abroad, and news of scandals didn’t leave palace walls. Also I suspect it was created bc even then everyone knew that the guy who pops out first and inherits the throne isn’t necessarily going to be the sharpest axe in the Royal shed, and neither is his heir. This system increases the chances that *somebody* with two brain cells might be able to step in and make Royal decisions, back when those decisions mattered more and when a smart commoner certainly wouldn’t have been worthy. People didn’t live as long then either, and “working royals” weren’t a thing, so until the next generation came of age it probably was just the monarch’s siblings and whatever number of adult cousins was needed to make 5.

    Fast forward to 2022, say KCIII breaks his leg or something and goes into hospital for a week and William’s on vacation. (Natch.) Now he can choose Anne instead of Camilla or Andrew to wear the pretty robe in his place at the opening of Parliament or whatever, and everyone can breathe easy that the monarchy is safe. It’s quite a good move on his part, IMO.

    • equality says:

      It was also set up before someone could appear virtually at an event. What’s keeping KC in the hospital from doing something by video chat?

  21. lleepar says:

    It’s not as if Counsellors of State get to be like a real king or queen for the day if they stand in for an unavailable monarch. Actual decisions which might be required are still going to be made by the government and/or the courtiers. But new counsellors can assure that someone is available to sign documents and do other ceremonial work.

  22. Robin Samuels says:

    In my opinion, the Queen should have never removed Anne. William and Harry came of age, but there were young and single. The Queen reigned for 70 years. How often was Charles required to stand in for her? She was determined not to allow Charles to sit on that throne as long as she had breath in her body.