Queen: Princess Beatrice could take over as ‘Counsellor of State’
Prince Andrew and Prince Harry officially retain the role of Counsellors of State despite stepping down as senior royals. News the Queen caught Covid has renewed calls to have them removed from these roles and rekindled a discussion over who could replace them.
The Queen’s former press secretary, Dickie Arbiter, took to Twitter to highlight the current situation concerning the Counsellors.
He tweeted: “The Regency Act 1937 established the office of Counsellor of State – the acts themselves being Acts of the United Kingdom Parliament.
“The Regency Act 1953 restored The Queen Mother’s eligibility as a Counsellor of State which she lost on the death of George VI.
“Prince Harry resigned as a working member of the Royal family in January 2020 since when he’s been living in the USA.
Prince Andrew and Prince Harry are two of the current Counsellors of State
The Queen caught Covid, Buckingham Palace said on Sunday
“Prince Andrew has been removed as a working member in the wake of the ongoing Epstein sex scandal, but both are still Counsellors of State.
“Question – is there any reason why Parliament cannot introduce a Regency Act 2022 removing Princes Harry and Andrew and reinstating Princess Anne and Prince Edward who ceased to be Counsellors of State in 2003 and 2005 respectively? Continuity is the watchword”.
Richard Palmer, the Daily Express royal correspondent, replied to Mr Arbiter saying royal sources have argued bringing on a new Regency Act would be “a waste of Parliamentary time and isn’t needed because the Queen doesn’t travel abroad anymore.”
Many social media users agreed with the prospect of seeing Parliament finding time to discuss this issue and nominate new Counsellors.
READ MORE: Shamed Prince Andrew ‘forced into exile and will flee Britain’
Princess Anne is the Queen’s only daughter
One, called @TheRoyalCrabbit, wrote: “Agreeing with you both completely. As for Parliamentary Time used, I say bring it.
“I think there’d be plenty of support to remove the two and reinstate Anne & Edward?”
Another, @JennieMorewine, wrote: “Understand the Parliament time waste issues but that was a good reason a few years ago.
“Now is the time to make the effort and change the counsellors as preparation for future King”.
Prince William and Prince Harry became Counsellors of State after turning 21
Prince Andrew hasn’t undertaken royal duties since November 2019
A third, @Gothloretta, also said: “There’s a very good argument right now to get things sorted in an official capacity and soon as”.
Others spoke in favour of seeing Princess Anne and Prince Edward taking on once again the roles of Counsellors after losing them, in accordance with the law, in favour of Prince Harry and Prince William following their 21st birthdays.
Twitter user @judie1963 wrote: “I would prefer Anne & Edward to be reinstated as CoS.
“Both are level headed and have been great support to the Queen, even more so during this past 2 years.
The line of succession to the throne
“We need to know that if any should happen, especially with Covid, that our country is in safe hands.”
And @Tilly5001 said: “Princess Anne and Prince Edward should take on the roles again. Andrew and Henry are no longer working royals representing Her Majesty.”
By law, two or more Counsellors of State are appointed by Letters Patent to act in Her Majesty’s name on a temporary basis and on specific issues – including attending Privy Council meetings and signing routine documents, in the event the Queen can’t undertake her official duties due to illnesses or trip abroad.
While the Queen stopped undertaking foreign trips in 2015, she is currently battling a mild bout of Covid, as announced on Sunday by Buckingham Palace.
Prince Edward is 14th-in-line to the throne
There are normally five Counsellors automatically appointed within the Royal Family, no matter whether they are working royals or not – the sovereign’s spouse and the next four people in the line of succession who are over the age of 21.
This means Prince Philip was a Counsellor of State until his death last April.
The remaining royals covering this role are Prince Charles, Prince William, Harry and Andrew.
Following the line of succession to appoint the next Counsellors rather than pick and choose who should hold this role would mean that, in the event Parliament removed the Dukes of York and Sussex from their roles of Counsellors and didn’t choose to appoint specific people as replacements, the Counsellor title would fall on Princess Beatrice, currently 10th-in-line, and her sister Princess Eugenie, 12th-in-line.
Both sisters aren’t working members of the Royal Family.