Charles’ ‘slimmed-down monarchy’ not possible due to ‘distrust in politicians’ says expert

Prince Charles to stand in for Queen at the state opening

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The Prince of Wales, 73, is set to appear at the memorial service to his father Prince Philip tomorrow. The Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away aged 99 in April last year, was the longest-serving royal consort in British history. The Queen’s late husband did not live to see Her Majesty mark the start of her Platinum Jubilee last month to commemorate her 70-year reign.

Philip will be honoured in a service at Westminster Abbey, where Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall are expected to lead the line for members of the Royal Family.

The Queen is understood to be attending the tribute to her husband, although the Palace is still mulling over her travel arrangements due to her recent mobility issues.

As Her Majesty marks her Jubilee, questions have been raised about what kind of monarch her son and heir to the throne Charles will be.

It has long been reported that when the Prince takes to the throne, he will pursue a so-called “slimmed-down monarchy” of around eight core members.

However, a constitutional expert has explained why the level of “distrust in politicians” could prove a stumbling block to any attempts to overhaul the way the Royal Family currently operates and cut down the number of its main members.

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Professor Vernon Bogdanor at King’s College London claimed that Charles would not be wise to pursue a “slimmed-down monarchy”, because the Royal Family provides a service to the public that is unmatched by MPs.

Asked for his thoughts on Charles’ apparent plans, he told “He can’t do it all.

“People are very flattered when even a minor royal comes to open a scientific institution and gives a kind of recognition for what is happening.

“It is important, particularly, given the distrust in which politicians are now held.

“If it is a Government minister in Hartlepool then people who don’t support the Government, say, ‘Well they don’t represent us’, but the royals represent everyone.

“The important point is that it has become a public service monarchy, evaluated not by any mystical or religious traditions.”

Following Philip’s death last year, the Telegraph and other newspapers reported that a summit to decide the future of the monarchy was being spearheaded by Charles and Prince William.

It was claimed that the country’s next two kings wanted to answer key questions such as who will be the full-time working royals, what their roles will be and how to redistribute the hundreds of patronages Philip left behind.

The issue of which royals will perform the bulk of the Firm’s duties in the future has grown in importance in recent years.

It comes as leading figures, Prince Andrew, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have all stopped carrying out royal engagements.

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The line of succession on the Royal Family’s official website still displays its 22 highest-ranking members.

Amid the recent departures, Charles may place greater importance on other royals such as Princess Anne.

Prof Bogdanor also highlighted the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex as two royals who may have more prominent roles in the future.

He said: “A lot of them do public work, for example, Prince Edward and his wife and they should be supported because they’re helping the monarch.”

The expert added that royals such as the Earl and Countess of Wessex may help take the pressure off Charles and Camilla.

He said: “The problem is that when people build, say a new town hall in Wigan, or a new library in Hartlepool, they would like a member of the Royal Family to open it.

“A politician isn’t the same, having a minister for education, it is not quite the same as having a royal.

“The Queen and the new King and all the rest, can’t do it all on their own.”

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