Queen Elizabeth ensured Prince Harry and Prince Andrew wouldn't ever stand in for the King, choosing these working royals instead

Queen Elizabeth ensured Prince Harry and Prince Andrew would remain out of the limelight, should anybody need to step in for King Charles

King Charles III hosts a reception to celebrate British South Asian communities, in the Great Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on October 3, 2022 in Dunfermline, Scotland. Between 200 - 300 guests of British Indian, Pakistani, Bangladesh, Sri Lankan, Nepalese, Bhutanese and Maldivian heritage from across the UK attended the reception.
(Image credit: Kirsty O'Connor - Pool/Getty Images)

According to reports. Prince Harry and Prince Andrew will never stand in for King Charles, as decided by Queen Elizabeth before she died. The news comes as the British government, despite recent political turmoil, raised concerns over what would happen should King Charles and Prince William be indisposed.


After calls from concerned British MPs, it's been reported that Prince Harry and Prince Andrew won't ever stand in for King Charles should the need arise. Instead, Buckingham Palace has made sure that Princess Anne and Prince Andrew will step in - at the behest of their late mother Queen Elizabeth II.

Although it's yet to be confirmed in Parliament, the Daily Mail (opens in new tab) reports that Ministers and senior Palace officials are currently setting plans in stone. 

As it stands, the law states that when the King is absent - be that away on official visits or unwell or whatever reason - state business can be conducted by, "two Counsellors of State." The business in question, i.e. approvals for legislation and most appointments, must come from the Crown.

Princess Anne, Princess Royal attends the Committal Service for Queen Elizabeth II at St George's Chapel

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Per the rules laid down in the Regency Acts of 1937 (opens in new tab) and 1953 (opens in new tab), the Daily Mail reports that, "these can be appointed from the four most senior adults in the line of succession, plus the consort of a monarch." That, claims the publication, means that the Queen Consort, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Sussex, the Duke of York, and Princess Beatrice are the ones who'd stand in should that be necessary.

According to the proposals, King Charles would make that list larger, including his other siblings Princess Anne and Prince Edward. This would mean the Duke of York and the Duke of Sussex, who are no longer working royals, wouldn't need to be called upon.

Seemingly, the new considerations are especially important as King Charles is planning the biggest royal tour in history and will need to appoint Counsellors of State before his departure.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (who celebrates his 58th birthday today) visits the Sir Ken Dodd Happiness Hall, which has been transformed into a new space for the community, to mark its official opening on March 10, 2022 in Liverpool, England.

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Amidst the chaos happening in the British government, some may have missed concerns raised in the House of Lords by Viscount Stansgate, who's a Labour hereditary peer. He asked, "are the Government happy to continue with a situation where the counsels of state and regency powers may be exercised by the Duke of York or the Duke of Sussex, one of whom has left public life and the other of whom has left the country?"

The Leader of the Lords, Lord True, responded to this query and others related to this concern by saying that King Charles has already made it clear he's aware of the need, "to make such a royal provision.

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.

She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.