Princess Beatrice’s new royal title under King Charles’ reign has seen her appointed to carry out hugely important duties on a temporary basis should her uncle ever be ill or absent abroad.
- When King Charles became the UK’s Sovereign, his niece Princess Beatrice became a Counselor of State.
- She is understood to be one of five Counselors of State though not everyone will be aware of exactly what this role is and what it entails.
- This royal news comes as Princess Anne’s final act of devotion for Queen Elizabeth II was revealed.
Upon the accession of King Charles to the throne, things changed hugely not only for the UK and Commonwealth but for the immediate and wider Royal Family too. The royal line of succession has since been updated and His Majesty’s eldest niece Princess Beatrice of York now has a prestigious royal title. In line with the law, Princess Beatrice’s new royal title is that of Counselor of State to the King. With it comes the responsibility of carrying out certain hugely important responsibilities in the monarch’s absence aside from a few core constitutional functions.
But what are Counselors of State, how are they chosen and who are King Charles’ Counselors of State other than Princess Beatrice? We reveal what you need to know about Princess Beatrice’s new royal title under His Majesty’s reign…
What are Counselors of State?
Though it might not be immediately clear to some fans exactly what Counselors of State are and what powers they have, according to the Royal Family’s official website (opens in new tab) this historic position was first provided for back in 1937 under the terms of the Regency Act. A Counselor of State is someone who is authorized to carry out most - but crucially, not all - of the Sovereign’s official duties during short-term absences where a Regency is considered to be unnecessary.
This includes attending meetings of the Privy Council, signing routine documents and also receiving the credentials of new Ambassadors to the United Kingdom on a temporary basis if the monarch is ill or abroad. However, the Counselors of State cannot carry out certain duties which aren’t able to be delegated by the monarch.
Commonwealth matters remain the responsibility of the Sovereign, as do the creation of peers of the realm, appointing a Prime Minister and dissolving Parliament - except if explicitly and expressly instructed by the monarch to do so.
Who are Counselors of State to a UK monarch?
As revealed by the Royal Family’s website, a UK monarch’s Counselors of State are legally the Sovereign’s spouse and the four adult royals who are highest in the royal line of succession, provided they are over the age of 21. Currently the information remains the same as it had been before the sad announcement of the death of Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral came on September 8. Upon the accession of the eldest of the Queen’s children, Charles, as King, this law regarding who is a Counselor of State is understood to have remained unchanged.
Who are King Charles’ Counselors of State?
In line with the law Counselors of State for King Charles are his spouse Camilla, Queen Consort, his eldest son and heir Prince William, the Prince of Wales, his youngest son Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, his brother Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and his niece Princess Beatrice of York. The only changes to the Counselors of State under King Charles’ reign compared to that of Queen Elizabeth are the appointments of Queen Consort Camilla and Princess Beatrice.
As a widow at the time of her passing, the late Queen’s Counselors of State were the then-Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew. Although Prince William’s children are all higher in the line of succession to the British throne than the Dukes of Sussex and York and Princess Beatrice and Prince Harry’s children are also higher than his uncle and cousin, they are all children and thus understandably cannot be appointed to this hugely important role.
However, The Telegraph (opens in new tab) has recently claimed that it’s possible King Charles would seek to amend the law on which members of his family could act as his official stand-in. They alleged that His Majesty reportedly wants the current law amended to ensure that all of his Counselors of State are working members of the Royal Family.
If the claim turns out to be correct and the law were to ever be amended in the future, this would mean that three of King Charles’ current Counselors of State would be relieved of these duties - including Princess Beatrice.
Whilst the Duke of Sussex was previously a working royal, since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “stepped back” from their former duties, this is no longer the case and as he resides in the US that could potentially make standing-in for his father if needed a little more complex.
Meanwhile, Prince Andrew officially stepped back from royal duties in 2019 after the Jeffrey Epstein scandal and remains a non-working royal. His daughter Princess Beatrice, who is ninth in line to the throne, has never been a working royal though she has an HRH title.
Although nothing is confirmed, if the law does ever get changed to make only the Sovereign's spouse and adult working royals Counselors, that could potentially mean that Queen Consort Camilla, Prince William, Prince Edward, Princess Anne will be the Counselors of State.
If four adult, working royals highest in the royal line of succession as well as King Charles’ spouse were definitely needed then technically it’s a member of the extended Royal Family - Queen Elizabeth’s cousin the Duke of Gloucester (who is a working royal and 30th in line) - who might possibly be considered to be a Counselor.
At the moment no changes or announcements have been made and King Charles’ Counselors of State remain his wife, sons, brother, and niece - with Princess Beatrice’s new royal title and appointment as Counselor for the first time a huge honor. All five Counselors have been seen frequently in recent weeks as the Royal Family came together to mourn Queen Elizabeth at her State Funeral and Committal Service and paid their respects to Britain's longest-reigning monarch.
Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.
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