King's slim monarchy may leave responsibilities 'impossible to fulfil'

‘The King faces a challenge in the future’: Charles’ slimmed down monarchy, with only four members under the age of 70, could leave royal family’s day-to-day work responsibilities ‘impossible to fulfil’, royal experts warn

  • King Charles, 74, is known to be in favour of a smaller and cheaper monarchy
  • But new royal portrait released yesterday highlights difficulties this may bring

King Charles’ vision of a slimmed-down monarchy could leave the Royal Family’s day-to-day responsibilities ‘impossible to fulfil’, experts have warned.

A new portrait released to celebrate the King’s Coronation on Monday provided a glimpse into the future of the Royal Family, with Queen Camilla and the Princess Royal stood proudly either side of Charles.

The King, 74, is known to be in favour of a smaller and cheaper monarchy, but the image also highlighted the difficulties this may bring, with all but four working royals now aged over 70.

There are already concerns there may be too much pressure on the Prince and Princess of Wales to take on the bulk of engagements as the ageing pool of working royals continues to shrink. Prince Andrew and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are have stepped back from public duties and were not included in the Royal portrait yesterday.

Royal author Phil Dampier today said there is a shortage of working royals for at least the next decade, with any further cuts leaving them unable to fulfil daily duties.

Left to right: The Duke of Kent, the Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Gloucester, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Princess Royal, King Charles III, Queen Camilla, the Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales, the Duchess of Edinburgh, Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy, the Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Harry pictured outside Westminster Abbey ahead of the Coronation of King Charles on Saturday

Prince Andrew (pictured outside Westminster Abbey) was also missing from the royal portrait after stepping back from public duties

He told MailOnline: ‘We have got a slimmed down monarchy by default because Harry and Meghan have left and Andrew is in disgrace. But there is now a real problem with most of the working royals being over seventy.

‘It leaves just William and Kate and Edward and Sophie until their children get older. So for the next decade there is a shortage of man and woman power. 

READ MORE: Who’s who in the official Coronation portrait: The working royal family stood alongside the King and Queen for traditional photograph (and Harry and Andrew don’t make the cut)

‘You could bring in the likes of Beatrice and Eugenie to do more, but Charles has always been against that, and they are associated with their parents.

‘We are going to have to accept that the days of having 1,600 patronages like the Queen and Prince Philip are probably over.’

Mr Dampier also said the idea of long-distance overseas royal tours may not be overly welcomed by Queen Camilla.

He added: ‘Charles is very fit for his age but I’m not sure the Queen is looking forward to gruelling overseas tours to the likes of Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean.

‘She doesn’t like flying or the heat so it’s going to be hard for her at 75. 

As Princess Anne said a couple of weeks ago on Canadian TV the monarchy already looks pretty slimmed down, so let’s stop any talk of cutting it further. Otherwise the day to day work of the institution will simply be impossible to fulfil.’

Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams also noted the ‘challenge’ for the King in the future and said he will need to decide ‘how slimmed down he wants the monarchy to be’.

He said the group portrait of the working royals signified ‘the people who the King can depend on’, adding: ‘The absentees, everyone knows the reasons for that’. 

To mark his reign as head of state, the King also unveiled a striking new solo portrait to commemorate his historic crowning.

Mr Fitzwilliam said Princess Anne’s proximity to the King in the portrait ‘is no accident’, adding the fact she is ‘experienced and hard-working’ will have been noticed by Charles.

He added Queen Camilla looked ‘more relaxed and comfortable’ wearing the crown in her solo portrait than she did in Westminster Abbey, during the coronation ceremony that was watched by millions world wide. 

An individual portrait of the King has also been released, showing Charles holding the Orb and Sceptre with Cross

King Charles III and Queen Camilla are pictured in full regalia in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace

Queen Camilla has also been pictured in an individual portrait wearing Queen Mary’s crown and her embroidered Robe of Estate

Prince Harry and the Duke of York were not included within the portrait as they are no longer working royals

Buckingham Palace has released a Coronation message by King Charles III, in which he gave his ‘heartfelt thanks to all those who have helped to make this such a special occasion’

In the portrait of the working royals, the King is pictured in full regalia, wearing the Imperial State Crown along with his regal purple tunic and Robe of Estate. 

He is stood alongside Camilla, who is wearing Queen Mary’s Crown, with the train of her lengthy embroidered Robe of Estate spread in front of her. 

To their immediate left are the Prince and Princess of Wales, who wore her Alexandra McQueen dress and leaf embroidery headpiece by Jess Collett x Alexander McQueen. On the other side of Charles was his sister the Princess Royal in military dress.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh are also pictured either side of Princess Alexandra – the late Queen Elizabeth’s cousin. The Duke of Kent and the Gloucesters are also included in the image by Hugo Burnand.

Meanwhile, King Charles yesterday hailed the outpouring of celebration for his Coronation as ‘the greatest possible gift’ as he expressed his ‘heartfelt thanks’ to the nation for making it ‘such a special occasion’.

The King and Queen pledged to rededicate their lives to service as Charles expressed gratitude for the nation’s support throughout the historic celebrations, and as the weekend of festivities draw to a close he issued a written message, saying: ‘We thank you, each and every one.’

He said: ‘As the Coronation weekend draws to a close, my wife and I just wanted to share our most sincere and heartfelt thanks to all those who have helped to make this such a special occasion.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on Saturday. It has emerged that Charles toasted Archie on his birthday in a informal lunch afterwards

‘We pay particular tribute to the countless people who have given their time and dedication to ensuring that the celebrations in London, Windsor and further afield were as happy, safe and enjoyable as possible.’

He added: ‘To those who joined in the celebrations – whether at home, at street parties and lunches, or by volunteering in communities – we thank you, each and every one.

‘To know that we have your support and encouragement, and to witness your kindness expressed in so many different ways, has been the greatest possible Coronation gift, as we now rededicate our lives to serving the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and Commonwealth.

The official portraits show King Charles III and Queen Camilla in all their majesty in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace, and surrounded by their fellow ‘working royals’.

The King and Queen can be seen both separately and together, both the very picture of calm dignity despite the strain of the weekend.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, along with Prince Andrew, were nowhere to be seen.

Harry and Meghan stepped down as senior royals in March 2020, and have since given tell-all interviews about their alleged treatment. Harry attended the Coronation on Saturday, but flew back to California shortly after the ceremony.

Prince Harry also released his bombshell memoir Spare, revealing intimate details of the Royal Family’s private life, following the Queen’s death.

The Duke of York, who played no formal role in the Coronation but attended in his Order of the Garter robes, sat in the same row as Harry during the ceremony at Westminster Abbey on Saturday.

Andrew stepped down from public life after his Newsnight interview in November 2019 and the furore over his friendship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Source: Read Full Article