Harry, William and the rest: what changes for each royal?
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With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the second Elizabethan era came to an end. The royal family must now gather around King Charles III for the next era in Britain’s history. regroup and prepare for their new tasks. For the individual royals, there are some huge changes.
The moment Elizabeth II closed her eyes forever, her eldest son Charles automatically became king. He has decided to use the name King Charles III. accept All rights and duties of the crown are with him from now on.
The 73-year-old is not only the head of state in Britain, but also in 14 other Commonwealth countries, including Australia and Canada. King Charles III is head of the 56-member Commonwealth, although not a hereditary position. Instead, his successor was agreed at a meeting of Commonwealth leaders in London in 2018.
He is the new head of the British Armed Forces, Justice and Civil Service and he is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. In addition, all awards such as knighthood will be awarded in his name in the future.
The UK does not have a constitution enshrined in law, so the role of the monarchy is more determined by conventions. The King has a duty to remain politically impartial, meaning he will be subject to even more scrutiny if he continues to express the views for which he is known.
Charles previously championed alternative medicine and organic farming techniques. In 1984 he criticized the “glass stumps and concrete towers” of modern architecture. He has been warning about the dangers of climate change for decades. In the so-called “Black Spider” memos, he addressed the ministers close to his heart. In a BBC documentary on the occasion of his 70th birthday, he admitted that his interventions often caused unrest. But he promised not to get involved in controversial matters once he was king. He will operate within “constitutional parameters”.
His mother always kept out of politics and never commented publicly on any subject. In this way she managed to maintain the support of the people and parliament, the only body that had the power to dethrone her. However, it is not known what she discussed behind closed doors during her regular audiences with prime ministers – starting with Winston Churchill – and female prime ministers.
These audiences are one of the constitutional duties of King Charles III. must agree. You regularly bring him into contact with policy makers. It appoints the prime minister, opens parliamentary sessions, approves laws and official appointments, accepts the credentials of foreign ambassadors, and receives heads of state on state visits.
Charles has also assumed the position of head of the nation, meaning he becomes a symbol of national identity, unity and pride. He stands for continuity. Therefore, the monarch will open national events and preside over commemorations.
All official royal residences, including Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, are now under his control. There are other residences such as Balmoral in Scotland and Sandringham in Norfolk which were privately owned by the Queen. It is still unclear to whom she leaves this in her will.
In any case, Charles’s fortune has increased enormously with the death of his mother. He is now receiving the Sovereign Grant, which will cover the costs of his duties and amounted to £86.3 million – approximately €100 million – for the 2021/2022 financial year. He will be in charge of the Royal Collection, which includes one of the most valuable art collections in the world. And he takes over the Duchy of Lancaster, a huge estate of over 10,000 acres of land, prime London real estate and a portfolio of investments. King Charles III has become one of the richest men in England overnight.
For years it was unclear what title Camilla, Charles’s wife, would ever have. When their marriage was announced in February 2005, the official statement read: “Mrs Parker Bowles is intended to use the title HRH The Princess Consort when the Prince of Wales takes the throne.” This was a clear signal that she would not bear the title of queen.
Then, in February 2022, at the start of her platinum jubilee year, Elizabeth II expressed a desire in a message that her daughter-in-law would become queen consort when Charles becomes king. Something the couple really appreciated. That same weekend, a spokesperson said the two were “moved and honored by Her Majesty’s words.”
Traditionally, the residence of the king and his wife would have been Buckingham Palace, but in 2011, the BBC reported that Charles was considering moving his entire household to Windsor and converting Buckingham Palace into an entertainment venue. That would be a dramatic and controversial change, but it could have been done by King Charles III. actually be enforced as the new boss.
William and Kate
Until now, Charles was responsible for paying his eldest son, Prince William. He has now inherited his father’s title, Duke of Cornwall, which comes with an estate that brought in an income of £23 million – around €26 million – last year. This money now goes directly to William.
His new title is HRH The Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge, and tradition dictates that he will also become Prince of Wales, first in line to the throne. But that’s something the king has to make a separate announcement about. When he does, Catherine HRH becomes the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.
It is believed that William and Kate have no plans to move. The couple resides at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor while their three children attend school. As a result, the King’s former residences, including Clarence House and Birkhall in the Scottish Highlands, will likely stand empty until Charles offers them to other relatives or finds an alternative use for them.
Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are now Their Royal Highnesses Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis of Cornwall and Cambridge. Popularly they are probably called George, Charlotte and Louis of Wales.
Harry and Megan
Charles’ second son, Harry, is unlikely to be offered royal office unless he and his wife Meghan return to their royal duties. The King has also yet to confirm that they can continue to use Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Estate as it is part of the Royal Estate. Harry and Megan currently live in California with son Archie and daughter Lilibet, but have continued to call Frogmore their official residence during the Queen’s reign.
When Harry and Meghan announced their intention to step down from royal duties in early 2020, they said they were “working to become financially independent”. The terms of the divorce stipulated that while the couple would always remain part of the family, they would no longer use their HRH titles.
As the monarch’s grandson, Archie is now automatically HRH Prince Archie of Sussex, while Lilibet is HRH Princess Lilibet of Sussex. Whether they use these titles will not be known until their parents first mention them publicly.
André and the rest of the family
King Charles III also takes responsibility for allocating roles, responsibilities and resources to other members of the royal family.
He was not very close to his brother Andrew before resigning from his royal duties due to his ties to Jeffrey Epstein. In January 2022, he was stripped of his HRH and other titles associated with military and charitable positions. So the question now is whether the new king will continue to allow him to use his Buckingham Palace flat and provide him with financial support.
Then there are Charles’ other siblings, Princess Anne and Prince Edward, and more distant relatives like the Gloucesters and Kents. He must decide how much family support he needs to carry out his duties and to whom he provides it. Many of these decisions would have already been made. The first indications of where their loyalties lie will be seen in who gets to hold which residencies and, most importantly, who gets an upgrade.
Anne and Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, are expected to continue their public duties after decades of dedicated service. The new king absolutely wants to reduce the number of active members of the royal family, previously reported in the media.