Prince Charles 'second fiddle to Queen in Wales' says host
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Telegraph associate editor Camilla Tominey believes this would demonstrate Charles’ image as a “frugal” monarch. She said in a video for the newspaper: “There’s this sense that he wants a slimmed-down monarchy to make sure that everybody is doing their bit and that there are no, so-called, ‘hangers-on’.
“I think this is Charles’ attempt to basically look like he has inherited his mother’s habit for being frugal – turning off light switches and being green – and generally being good value for money.
“On one hand, it’s probably a good idea for when Trooping the Colour happens for us not to see such a vast array of royals on the balcony at Buckingham Palace because it then begs the question: who are all these people and what are they doing?”
But she also said that this might have some significant drawbacks.
Ms Tominey added: “The upper echelons of the monarchy have become increasingly depleted. We now have no Duke and Duchess of Sussex, no Duke of York and, even before he died, Prince Philip had retired from public life.
“That means that there are too few royals to go around.
“We saw a major example of this slimmed-down monarchy at the diamond jubilee in 2012, because we had expected a bigger show at the Buckingham Palace balcony, but I think at the time we described it as the magnificent seven.”
She went on to claim: “We know…that other members of the royal family were quite upset by that.”
But despite reports of a move towards a smaller monarchy, the Queen has recently been pushing lesser-known members to the fore, demonstrating the key role they play in the firm.
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The Queen, 95, will be joined by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Prince Michael of Kent to host a reception at Windsor Castle, ahead of the Global Investment Summit (GIS) next week.
Notably, the Duchess of Cambridge, 39, is missing from the line-up.
Constitutional expert Iain MacMarthanne told Express.co.uk: “Ultimately the matter of a slimmed-down membership is about perception.”
But he explained why this may not work in practice, describing the problem of cost as a “red herring”.
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Mr MacMarthanne noted that royals such as the Kents and the Gloucesters no longer have their expenditures covered by the Civil List, but instead through the Privy Purse – the private income of the monarch.
He suggested: “Cost to the taxpayer therefore hardly enters the equation, and slimming numbers down may create more problems than it solves.
“The Kents and Gloucesters only became working royals to meet the demand being placed on the monarchy in the 40s and 50s and thereafter.
“Reduce the monarchy’s membership without considering the demands being placed upon it, and all that will be achieved is to expect fewer royals to do more, or limit the visibility of the monarchy.
“Yet, monarchy lives and survives by being visible.”
As part of this “slimmed down monarchy”, Ms Tominey also said that Prince Charles may choose to make Buckingham Palace open to the public.
She referenced recent reports suggesting the future king may choose to live “in a flat above the shop, so to speak”, leaving the Palace available for outside visitors.
She believes this is part of a wider “recalibration of what it means to be a Royal.”
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