Prince Charles could be set for ‘unprecedented’ duty as fragile Queen steps further back

Queen's role is now 'less restrictive' says royal commentator

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After Boris Johnson’s resignation, conservative grandee Sir Graham Brady said the new Conservative party leader and Prime Minister would be announced on Monday, September 5. However, the Queen is due to be at Balmoral at the time and may have to travel despite recent ill-health.

The next Tory leader would have to travel to Balmoral to meet Her Majesty for the first time and be asked formally to form a Government after winning the position.

This ‘audience’ is known as ‘kissing hands’, and immediately afterwards the new Prime Minister heads straight to 10 Downing Street.

It’s more likely however the Queen would be expected to return from Balmoral to Buckingham Palace or Windsor, so the process of entering Downing Street was not delayed.

Despite the formal tradition, a royal source has raged at the plans due to the Queen’s health and age.

The source told Richard Eden for the Daily Mail: “There seems to have been no thought given to the Queen’s circumstances.

“Do the politicians seriously expect a 96-year-old woman to make an 800-mile round-trip for a ten‑minute audience?”

Mr Eden noted the Queen asking the new Prime Minister “to form a government via a phone call or video conference would be unprecedented”.

He also pointed out the Queen has held the “vast majority of her weekly audiences with Boris have been on the phone since the pandemic struck”.

The expert then said: “Perhaps, she could ask Prince Charles to do the honours? After all, he did step in at the State opening of Parliament.”

It comes as the Queen continued royal duties and awarded the George Cross award to the National Health Service (NHS) for its work over the past 74 years.

Her Majesty, accompanied by Charles, presented the George Cross award to representatives of the NHS at Windsor Castle.

The award recognises staff, past and present, across all disciplines and all four nations.

The Queen said in her message, shared by Buckingham Palace: “It is with great pleasure on behalf of a grateful nation, that I award the George Cross to the National Health Services of the United Kingdom.”


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Four days earlier the Queen held a council with MPs at Windsor Castle, with the politicians receiving Seals of Office.

The monarch has slowed down and missed events due to ongoing mobility issues, with her role believed to be scaled back earlier in July.

The monarchy’s annual report revealed the Queen’s role as head of state has been tweaked from 13 bulleted points to a less specific description.

The duties the 96-year-old “must fulfill” have also been reduced, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

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