King Charles ‘slimmed-down’ monarchy ‘not possible’

King Charles III: Well wisher tells monarch 'you will do it'

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Queen Elizabeth II died aged 96, Buckingham Palace announced in a statement on Thursday. Her son Charles, the longest-serving heir apparent in royal history, has succeeded his mother to the throne. The former Prince of Wales met the Prime Minister Liz Truss and addressed the nation in a broadcast before being proclaimed King Charles III. The new King has long been reported to favour a modernised, or so-called “slimmed-down” monarchy containing fewer key royals.

Charles is understood to want a smaller core royal unit centred around his wife Camilla, Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

However, as Charles gears up to travel around Britain and the Commonwealth as the new Sovereign, a constitutional expert has picked apart the “slimmed-down” monarchy idea.

Professor Vernon Bogdanor, of the Centre for British Politics and Government at King’s College London identified a key issue with having fewer working royals.

Rejecting the idea of Charles cutting down ‘The Firm’ to save money, he told “He can’t do it all.”

Professor Bogdanor claimed that the King would not be successful in downsizing the Royal Family due to political apathy among the British public, arguing that distrust in politicians has left a void that only the Royal Family is able to fill.

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Compared to politicians, royals are far more welcome at ribbon-cuttings and plaque unveilings up and down the country, according to the expert.

He said: “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.

“In 1953, about a third of the public thought the Queen had been chosen by God and the Archbishop of Canterbury, said that after the Coronation, the country was very near to heaven.”

He added: “I don’t think people think that anymore, the public judge by whether the monarchy actually continues to public service.”

Charles’ apparent bid to cut down the number of working royals is said to stem from concerns about the Royal Family’s value for money.

But Professor Bogdanor insisted that minor royals who could face the chop under Charles still have important roles to play.

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.

“People do criticise what they call the ‘minor roles’ rather patronisingly, but they do have a public service role.”

Despite Charles’ apparent financial concerns, Professor Bogdanor called for royals who serve the country to continue to receive payments from the taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant, which funds the activities of working royals.

He said: “I think the important point is to distinguish between those who are prepared to work in a public service role and those who aren’t.

“The former should be supported through the Civil List and the latter not, they will get jobs.

“For example, David Linley, the son of Princess Margaret, runs a very successful furniture business now.

“I don’t know whether he does any public work at all, maybe not. And in that case, he shouldn’t be supported.

“But 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.”

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