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King Charles III could be planning to downsize the Royal Family

King Charles III could be planning to downsize the Royal Family

The new King has some ideas about trimming down the Royal Family to make it more streamlined and modern.

The Royal Family could start to look very different with King Charles III in charge as Britain's new King has previously indicated that he wants to downsize the family.

What is meant by downsizing is that he is simply considering trimming down the number of working royals to just a core group of a few family members.

So, what could this potential downsizing look like?

Prince Harry and Prince Andrew are no longer working royals for differing reasons.
amanda rose / Alamy Stock Photo

Working royals are supposed to perform a range of duties on behalf of the King at events, including meeting with dignitaries, hosting official state events, going on foreign tours and of course cutting the ribbon to officially open a building.

That would also mean that other members of the Royal Family would not be expected to perform duties and wouldn't be getting public money, meaning they'd have to go out and get jobs of their own.

The role is considered a full time job and as such, working royals get paid to perform their duties.

It's a move that other royal families have taken in recent years, with many other monarchies being slimmed down to just a few key members, while the rest of the family leads relatively normal lives.

Royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti suggested that the first clear signal of what a downsized British royal family could look like was seen during the Platinum Jubilee.

If King Charles is trimming down the Royal Family to just the core elements it might largely be him, Prince William and their families.
REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

And, if Sacredoti's suggestion is correct, then the key members could potentially be Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and their children.

He said: "We saw it at the balcony moments during the Jubilee, that there were many fewer of them on the balcony with the Queen.

"I think that was a sort of sign of intention, how things should be. If there was ever a desire to do it, just out of some sort of nod to frugality. I think there's a more pressing reason to do it now.

"Some relatively close members of the family to the monarch have had some controversies related to them."

Sacerdoti also said one of the potential reasons behind a possible downsizing was that Charles wouldn't need to lean on family members to cover some of the duties quite as much as the Queen did in the final years of her reign.

Even at 73-years-of-age, Charles is still an active member of the family, and in recent years had been taking on more responsibility to help out his mother.

Sacerdoti said: "I think he won't necessarily need to rely on as many of the other members of the family which is why there can be that slimming down a bit and there are fewer of them.

"Harry's gone, Prince Andrew has gone in terms of working Royals."

"Obviously, William's children will one day grow up and maybe take on more responsibilities, but they're far from that now."

Prince William and Kate would be key figures in a slimmed down monarchy.
Richard Williams / Alamy Stock Photo

One member of the family who wasn't on the balcony for the Platinum Jubilee wave that he thought wouldn't be moved to the fringes was Princess Anne.

The King's sister is sometimes described as the hardest working royal, with Sacerdoti saying she 'does a lot of good work' and any downsizing 'for the sake of it' wouldn't make sense.

The idea is that this would both be a cost-cutting measure and 'preserving the positive PR' by slimming down the public face of the Royal Family to just a few figures.

However, other royal experts believe cutting the number of working royals would be a bad idea and suggested any downsizing attempts should be 'careful' not to shed too many.

Princess Anne could be one of the royals who doesn't get ushered out.
Steven May / Alamy Stock Photo

Vernon Bogdanor, research professor at the Institute for Contemporary British History at King's College London, explained that there were two major points to consider against the idea that 'the firm' could be trimmed down and the number of senior working royals reduced.

The first point was that members of the royal family receiving public funds would be expected to work for those funds, so if royals keep receiving public money they will likely continue performing public duties.

The second reason was a warning that much of the work done by royals that did not gain national attention but was appreciated on a local level would be lost.

He said: "We should be careful about slimming down too much.

"There are many local public duties where people prefer a royal to a politician e.g. opening a new town hall in Wigan or a new library in Hartlepool.

"Such events have local resonance even if not reported in the national press. Obviously the king cannot do it all."

A number of other royal families have downsized the number of working members in recent years.
ZUMA Press Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

Other royal families across Europe have also managed to move to a slimmed down model where fewer family members are working royals, and being born into the family doesn't guarantee titles and public money.

In 2019, Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf announced that five of his grandchildren were being removed from the royal house, losing the title of royal highness and any expectation of them performing royal duties later in their lives.

Meanwhile, the Dutch royal family only has three members who are paid to perform duties, with the rest of the family having to find jobs of their own.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: King Charles III, News, Royal Family, UK News, Prince William