On Thursday, British King Charles III reportedly planned to expand the pool of royals authorized to act for him in his absence, effectively excluding non-working royals Prince Harry and the Duke of York.
According to The Daily Telegraph and the BBC, Charles is expected to amend the “Regency Act” to include his brother Edward, the Earl of Wessex, and his sister Anne, Princess Royal.
The Telegraph reported that the amendments could be introduced in parliament “within weeks,” citing “royal insiders” who said it was a “logical step.”
Buckingham Palace has not issued an official statement.
Currently, only Charles’s wife Camilla, heir to the throne Prince William, Harry, Andrew, and his daughter Beatrice, who is not even a working royal, are on the list of royals who can temporarily take over on the 73-year-old monarch’s behalf if he is away or ill.
A longer list would allow the Palace to avoid directly excluding Harry, who has retired as a working royal and lives in the United States, and Andrew, who has retired from public life due to his friendship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and allegations of sex with a minor.
According to Daily Express royal reporter Richard Palmer, amendments “to create more stand-ins for the King are now a priority, sources have confirmed.”
He stated that “the King will never have to ask non-working royals such as Harry, Andrew, or Beatrice to stand in for him again.”
According to the BBC, the role entails signing documents and receiving ambassadors.
The issue of regency was brought up in the House of Lords on Monday, with Labour peer Stephen Benn questioning the current situation in which Andrew and Harry can exercise these powers.
“Isn’t it time for the government to approach the King and see if a reasonable amendment to this Act can be made?” Benn inquired.
According to senior Tory peer Nicholas True, the government “will always consider what arrangements are needed to ensure resilience in our constitutional arrangements.”
“In the past, we have seen that the point of accession has proven to be a useful opportunity to consider the arrangements in place,” he added.
During the last year of her life, Queen Elizabeth II was in poor health.
She asked Charles to represent her at events such as the opening of parliament, demonstrating that the legislation is “still very relevant,” according to Benn.