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 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 and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, together with Prince William and Duchess Catherine

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

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 where she and Prince Philip are isolating and will be spending Christmas.

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 officially stepped down as senior royals earlier this year and moved from their Frogmore Cottage home 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 Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.


Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.


In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 


After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!