King Charles III could be set to launch a radical overhaul of the monarchy in the wake of his mother’s death – a move which may leave Princes Harry and Andrew out in the cold forever.
The King’s desire to slim down the front-line Royal Family has long been documented, with experts suggesting Charles wishes to turn the monarchy into a ‘leaner machine’ with ‘less to gossip about’.
Royal watchers believe the former Prince of Wales is keen to ensure there are ‘no hangers-on’ in the Firm, with each member being expected to pull their weight in a new and more streamlined monarchy.
The concept of the ‘slimmed-down monarch’ was clear to see during the Platinum Jubilee in June when the Queen restricted those appearing on the Buckingham Palace balcony to working members of the Royal Family.
But King Charles’ original model, which reportedly involved a tight core of just seven people, including himself, has been thrown into doubt following a series of external events.
The plan, put in motion before the Queen’s death, originally included the long-reigning monarch along with Prince Philip, King Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Kate and Prince Harry.
Philip died aged 99 in 2021, while Harry’s future in the slimmed-down monarchy seems hugely doubtful following his decision to quit front line royal duties and move to America with his wife Meghan Markle.
Meanwhile, Prince Andrew, who would likely have featured in a slimmed-down monarchy as a son of the Queen and King Charles’ brother, has been outcast since his US sex assault lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre.
But that has pushed Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, and Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, into the fray as ‘key’ parts of King Charles’ future monarchy, according to royal watchers.
Meanwhile, experts warn a slimmed-down monarchy could see the royals pull back on its traditional model of attending thousands of engagements each year.
Others warn the number of patroganages could be reduced to allow royals to focus in more detail on a smaller number of key issues – with experts suggesting the environment could become a key part of King Charles’ plans for his reign.
Speaking on UCL Political Science Events podcast in March 2022, Dr Craig Prescott said: ‘I think there are potentially great risks with slimming down the size of the Royal Family, because as Bob [Dr Robert Morris] says, the question is: What is the monarchy meant to do?
‘But I think that the other question is: “What is it going to stop doing?” And you’re going to create, perhaps, some disappointment at the things that then get left out.’
Despite this, and the loss of would-be key members, royal watchers believe Charles will likely to push ahead with plans to slim down the monarchy.
Royal biographer Angela Levin told TalkRadio in May 2021 that the heir apparent has wanted to cut back the core of the working royals ‘for a very long time’ in order to ‘save costs and make people be worth the money that they get from the taxpayer’.
So how exactly could King Charles’ new look monarchy going forward? Here MailOnline explores those who could feature in the front bench, and those who are likely to miss out.
As the new King, Charles will be front-and-centre of the new-look monarchy. Alongside his reported desire to slim-down the size of the family, the biggest immediate change will be his residence.
The former Prince of Wales’s official residence has been Clarence House, on The Mall in the City of Westminster, since 2003.
While the Queen’s official residence has been Buckingham Palace, she spent much of her time at her favoured Windsor Castle following the death of her beloved Prince Philip.