In a reported “efficiency” move, the monarch asked to increase the number of Counsellors of State by two so that his siblings can deputize on his behalf. The current list includes The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Sussex, The Duke of York, Princess Beatrice and Queen Consort Camilla.
Counsellors of State are authorized to carry out most of the official duties of the Sovereign like attending Privy Council meetings, signing routine documents and receiving the credentials of new ambassadors to the UK.
The monarch’s intention was announced in a signed message read to the House of Lords by the Lord Chamberlain, Lord Parker of Minsmere, who is the most senior official in the royal household.
In a statement, Charles said: “To ensure the continued efficiency of public business when I’m unavailable, such as while I’m undertaking official duties overseas, I confirm that I would be most content should Parliament see fit for the number of people who can be called upon to act as Counsellors of State under the terms of the Regency acts 1937 to 1963 to be increased to include my sister and brother, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex and Forfar. Both of whom have previously undertaken this role.”
The news comes after Buckingham Palace released a new photograph of His Majesty to mark the royal’s 74th birthday.
The striking portrait shows the monarch leaning back against a huge ancient oak tree and dressed in a tweed blazer, tie and corduroy trousers. He is holding a wooden walking stick and looking out into the distance.
It was used to accompany the news that the King has officially become The Ranger of Windsor Great Park, seventy years after his father, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was appointed to the post.
The Ranger of The Great Park offers oversight and guidance to Deputy Ranger and his team in the day-to-day stewardship of one of the country’s oldest landed estates. The role at Windsor can trace its roots back to 1559 when Sir Henry Neville was appointed Ranger in the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I.