Queen under pressure over Harry and Andrew as Counsellors of State
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The Queen faces a choice over her Councillors of State with the monarch’s grandson Prince William, and her son Charles currently the only members of the council who help with official Crown business. Prince Harry and Prince Andrew currently have a sit as councillors despite no longer being working royals. Daily Express royal correspondent Richard Palmer has explained that the Queen may now feel the need to spread the royal work by removing the Duke of York and the Duke of Sussex so new help can be brought in.
Speaking to host Pandora Forsyth on the Royal Roundup, Mr Palmer said: “It’s currently Duke Cambridge, Duke of Sussex, Duke of York and the Prince of Wales, which is you know, there have been all sorts of debates about this.
“Because obviously, Prince Andrew Duke York and Prince Harry’s Duke of Sussex just aren’t, they’re not doing official business on behalf of the Queen.
“So that only leaves William hand and Charles and so whenever a Counsellor of State is needed, there can’t be one there has got to be both.”
Councillors of State are charged with the monarch’s duty in the event of her being unable to carry them out due to illness or being away from the UK.
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It comes as pre-released details of the upcoming Platinum Jubilee programme show that the Buckingham Palace balcony appearance by royals at the end of the Trooping the Colour ceremony will be limited to working members of the family only.
The decision, which will see Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, and Meghan all excluded was taken “after careful consideration”, according to the Palace.
Nevertheless, the new arrangements have been taken as further evidence of the gulf between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the rest of the Royal Family since the pair chose to leave the firm and set themselves up in the US two years ago.
Prince Andrew has also fallen out of favour with senior members of the Royal Family following his civil sexual assault case with Virginia Giuffre which ended with an out-of-court settlement.
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British soldiers will perform the Trooping of the Colour on June 2 to mark the beginning of four days of national celebration for the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.
Her Majesty is said to be”looking forward” to the landmark occasion.
A Palace spokesman said: “The Queen is looking forward to the weekend and will be taking part in the celebrations but her presence will not be confirmed until much nearer the time or even on the day itself.”
The move to limit the members of the Royal Family joining the Monarch will see a total of eighteen people join her on the iconic terrace.
Buckingham Palace released a statement clarifying the new arrangements.
A Palace spokesman said: “After careful consideration, the Queen has decided this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday, June 2 will be limited to Her Majesty and those members of the royal family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of the Queen.”
In addition to the new balcony protocol, there will be no ceremonial journey to the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, June 3 as the 96-year-old monarch, who is facing mobility issues, will use a different entrance rather than scaling the steep steps.
The 18th century Gold State Coach will however appear on the streets of London for the first time in 20 years when it leads the Jubilee Pageant procession on Sunday, June 5.
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