Prince Harry, second son of Charles III, and Prince Andrew, the king’s first male brother, are no longer active within the Council of State of the British royal family, although on paper they remain members of the body called upon to guarantee the substitution of the sovereign in case of trips abroad or absences due to illness. The Times “reveals” it, citing official palace sources against the background of the current health situation of the 75-year-old King Charles, who will have to undergo surgery next week “to correct” a condition defined as “benign” of “enlarged prostate “. The operation is not considered to be at risk from a medical point of view and – according to what Buckingham Palace has reported in recent days – will not actually require the use of forms of temporary formal substitution by the Council of State. However, the context has generated questions among the media and observers as to who is actually an operational part, as an “active” component, of this vicarious body of the monarchic institution in case of need.
In recent months an ad hoc act
Questions to which the Times answers today on the basis of official indications from the court according to which the ex-officio members of the Council are currently – as per practice – the queen consort Camilla and the four princes of royal blood over 21 years of age highest in the line of succession to the crown (in order the heir to the throne William, his brother Harry, Prince Andrew and his eldest daughter Beatrice); as well as the other two brothers of the king, Anna and Edward, co-opted at the behest of Charles III in recent months with an ad hoc act. However, the sources underline how a law reform passed by the British Parliament at the end of 2022 gives only “active members” of the Royal Family an executive role within the assembly. A role from which both Harry and Andrea are therefore excluded for now, while maintaining the formal title of councilors of state.
The reasons for giving up
Harry finds himself in this position due to having had to give up all duties of official representation of the monarchy following the 2020 upheaval which resulted in the traumatic move to the USA with his wife Meghan and their family; Andrea for having been excluded from public life still under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, her mother, due to the much more serious involvement in the sex scandal linked to the figure of the late American fixer Jeffrey Epstein.