Queen forms new royal “Firm of Eight”, but there’s one noticeable absence in this line-up

The monarch has reportedly put together a new "firm" of senior royals

Queen Elizabeth II thanks local volunteers and key workers for the work they are doing during the coronavirus pandemic
(Image credit: Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

The Queen is believed to have formed a new royal “firm of eight” with specific senior royals. 

This revelation comes after the pandemic has restricted the Royal Family’s ability to make en masse appearances. Instead, many royals have been seen making solo public visits, or else with partners and in the case of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with their children. 

But now it seems that the Queen is already looking ahead to 2021 and big changes could be afoot. According to The Sun, the 94-year-old monarch is determined to see the mantra “one must be seen to be believed” carried out next year. 

To help with this, she has put together a new “firm of eight” senior royals who will make public appearances together. 

Whilst many members of this supposed select group such as the Prince of Wales (opens in new tab) may not come as much of a surprise, there is one notable absence in this impressive line-up.

Which royals are in the Queen’s new “firm of eight”?

Whilst the Queen has not officially confirmed the formation of this new “firm”, the publication suggests that alongside the monarch are Prince Charles (opens in new tab) and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, together with Prince William and Duchess Catherine (opens in new tab)

The Queen’s daughter Princess Anne and youngest son Prince Edward and his wife Sophie (opens in new tab), Countess of Wessex are also reportedly included. 

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These eight senior royals made their first public appearance together last week as Prince William and Duchess Catherine’s royal train tour came to an end.

The Sun suggests that it was the Queen herself who came up with the idea for a photograph to be taken of the group on the steps of Windsor Castle (opens in new tab) where she and Prince Philip are isolating and will be spending Christmas (opens in new tab).

Who has been excluded from this royal group?

Whilst the majority of the senior royals believed to be included are to be expected, not everyone made the line-up. The most notable of these is the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Whilst Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (opens in new tab) officially stepped down as senior royals earlier this year and moved from their Frogmore Cottage home (opens in new tab) to North America. 

However the situation is still thought to be up for review soon and some might have imagined the couple may return to the fold in some way or another. If reports of a “firm of eight” are true, it seems that perhaps this is unlikely after all.

Other absentees include Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who has officially retired from royal engagements and Prince Andrew, who stopped all front-line royal duties in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

The Queen’s granddaughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are also believed not to be part of this new "firm".

How does the Queen see the “firm of eight” working?

A royal source has told the Mirror that “The family are united in exploring the possibilities in working with each other to highlight the causes dear to their hearts, helping each other and the country at the same time”.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (L), Britain's Sophie, Countess of Wessex (2L), Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2R) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge

(Image credit: Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

They revealed that the royals are “working on opportunities for next year and beyond already”, they revealed.

“The Queen has often said they 'need to be seen to be believed'—this is coming from the very top."

With 2021 on the horizon, we will have to wait and see if this supposed "firm of eight" make any more appearances in the future.

Emma Shacklock

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.