Will Prince Charles slim down the monarchy and who would make the cut?

Prince of Wales is a long-time supporter of a smaller monarchy, claim royal experts

Kate Ng
Wednesday 12 May 2021 16:42
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Prince Charles is reportedly considering shrinking the monarchy by cutting the number of official senior royals after the Queen dies.

It has long been reported that the heir apparent, 72, might support tightening the ranks of the royal family once he becomes the monarch.

The line of succession on the official royal family website includes 22 positions, with Prince Charles in first place and Master Lucas Tindall, grandson of Princess Anne, in final place.

Now, broadcaster and royal author Gyles Brandreth, author of Philip: The final portrait, has said that he thinks “going forward we are going to go back to a much slimmed down [monarchy]”.

Will Charles make the official royal family smaller?

Speaking about conversations he had with the late Duke of Edinburgh, Brandreth told The Express that Philip was also supportive of such move, which would see members outside of the immediate family taking a more background position.

He said that Philip had pointed out to him that when he became the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947, the royal family only comprised of “the King and the Queen and the two young Princesses”.

“That was it really. That was the Royal Family. And now of course it became this larger thing altogether.”

The former Tory MP for Chester said that if Charles does slim down the monarchy into a “leaner machine”, there would be “less to gossip about”.

Royal biographer Angela Levin agreed, telling TalkRadio that Charles has wanted to trim down the monarchy “for a very long time” in order to “save costs and make people be worth the money that they get from the taxpayer”.

She said the Queen kept those on the “outer edge” of the family together for “sentimental reasons”, but believes Charles will prefer change.

Members of the Royal Family (L-R) Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Britain's Princess Beatrice of York, Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (with Princess Charlotte and Prince George) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past of aircraft by the Royal Air Force

Who would remain as a senior royal?

Of course Prince Charles would be the sovereign and his wife, Camilla, would be his royal consort, both at the head of the Windsor family.

His eldest son, Prince William, and his family, would still be of high importance as next in line to the throne.

Brandreth suggested that William, 38, and Kate, as well as their three children, have an importance for “the next generation”.

He also suggested that Princess Anne and Prince Edward would join them as crucial royals, with Edward taking the title of Duke of Edinburgh once Charles becomes King.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down from their roles as working members of the royal family last March, moving to the US with their son Archie, and their new daughter, due in the summer.

Alongside Harry and Meghan, Brandreth did not include Prince Andrew in his predictions of who would make the cut.

The Duke of York stepped back from his public-facing duties following his BBC Newsnight interview in 2019.

In a statement issued prior to Prince Philip’s funeral in April, a spokesperson for the duke said “he remains stepped back from royal duties.”

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