Following his accession to the throne, the King’s Counsellors were determined by the 1937 Regency Act as the spouse of the Sovereign and the next four royals in line to the throne. Since status is disregarded the King’s Counsellors are Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice, alongside Camilla, Queen Consort.
Instead of stripping the roles, the King is reportedly looking to expand the number of Counsellors of State by changing the law to allow a more flexible list. Hugh Whitfeld from 7News explained: “We’re not looking at a situation where Harry and Andrew are going to suffer the indignity of losing this title or another title for Prince Andrew. What is most likely to happen is the pool of Counsellors of State is going to be expanded.
“Prince Edward and Princess Anne are most likely to be called up to the bench from the reserves, they’re further down the line. They’re going to be able to carry out these duties as Counsellors of State as well.
“This is all going to happen pretty quickly. The legislation is likely going to go before Parliament before the end of the year.”
Constitutional expert from Bangor University, Dr Craig Prescott, said: “Obvious candidates include Princess Anne and Prince Edward, you may even think about the Duke of Gloucester perhaps.”
He suggested that it might be “quite nice” for Kate, Princess of Wales, to be given the position and work as a Counsellor alongside William.
Former editor of the Daily Star Dawn Neesom, argued that Anne and Sophie were both “worthy” of the Counsellor roles.
She told GB News: “There’s two people there that really really are worthy of the job, that’s Princess Anne and Sophie. They’re not even allowed. It’s ridiculous.”
In a poll that ran from midday on Thursday, October 27, to midday on Monday, October 31, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Who do you most want to be promoted to Counsellor of State?”
Overall, 8,015 readers responded and the most popular answer was Anne, gaining 77 percent (6,148 people) of votes cast. Kate, Princess of Wales came in second place with 11 percent (878 people) of votes, while Prince Edward received seven percent (579 people).
A further four percent (310 people) answered that they wanted to see Sophie, Countess of Wessex promoted and just one percent (50 people) said the Duke of Gloucester. Meanwhile, 29 people said “other” and 21 people said they did not know.
Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers discussed the King’s Counsellors of State.
Counsellors of State conduct the duties of the reigning monarch in their absence due to ill health or travel, and they are able to attend Privy Council meetings and sign routine documents.
However, they cannot fulfil all of His Majesty’s roles including Commonwealth matters, the dissolving of Parliament or the appointment of a new Prime Minister.
Counsellors are required to work in pairs under the law and as a result, Dr Prescott also warned that the new law needs to be passed soon.
He explained that as Camilla is likely to be travelling with the King, William would currently be left to pick up responsibilities alone.