The law may be changed so that Counsellors of State are all working members of the Royal Family. This would mean that Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice would no longer be eligible. The law may also be changed to enable Princess Anne – currently 16th in line – to be a Counsellor of State. Under the Act of Settlement 1701, the throne was decided on male-preference meaning that older sisters were passed by their younger brothers in the order of succession. Princess Anne, The Queen’s second oldest child born in 1950, was therefore behind her younger brothers Prince Andrew born in 1960 and Prince Edward born in 1964 and their descendants.
Counsellors of State carry out official duties on behalf of the monarch when the monarch is unable to attend due to illness or absence from the UK. In May 2022, Charles and William stood in for The Queen during the State Opening of Parliament as The Queen was unable to attend due to “mobility issues.” Under the Regency Act 1937 The Counsellors of State are the spouse of the Sovereign and “the four persons who….are next in the line of succession to the Crown” who are over the age of 21. Queen Elizabeth II’s Counsellors of State were the Duke of Edinburgh, the former Prince of Wales, the former Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of York. Under the existing law, King Charles III’s Counsellors of State are his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, his sons William, Prince of Wales, Harry, Duke of Sussex, Andrew, Duke of York and Princess Beatrice, King Charles III’s niece.
In 2013, The Queen gave Royal Assent to the Succession to The Crown Act, enabling both sons and daughters of any future UK monarch to have an equal right to the Throne.
Under the Act the gender of a royal born after October 28, 2011 does not give that person, or their descendants, precedence over anyone else in determining the next monarch. Accordingly when Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, now the Princess of Wales, gave birth to her third child Prince Louis (her second son) in 2018 Princess Charlotte’s order in the line of succession to the Throne did not change based on her gender. Princess Charlotte, born in 2015, is the first princess who will not be overtaken in the line to the throne by a younger brother.
Counsellors of State can carry out most of the Sovereign’s official duties such as attending Privy Council meetings, receiving the credentials of new ambassadors to the United Kingdom and signing routine documents.
Some core constitutional functions may not be delegated:
- Commonwealth matters
- The dissolving of Parliament – except on the Sovereign’s express instruction
- The creation of peers
- The appointment of a Prime Minister
Current line of Succession
1. The Prince of Wales
2. Prince George of Wales
3. Princess Charlotte of Wales
4. Prince Louis of Wales
5. The Duke of Sussex
6. Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor
7. Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor
8. The Duke of York
9. Princess Beatrice, Mrs. Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
10. Miss Sienna Mapelli Mozzi
11. Princess Eugenie, Mrs. Jack Brooksbank
12. Master August Brooksbank
13. The Earl of Wessex
14. Viscount Severn
15. The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor
16. The Princess Royal
17. Mr. Peter Phillips
18. Miss Savannah Phillips
19. Miss Isla Phillips
20. Mrs. Michael Tindall
21. Miss Mia Tindall
22. Miss Lena Tindall
23. Master Lucas Tindall
ANDREW EBORN – RIGHTING WRONGS GET IN TOUCH
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