ROYALS

Will King Charles ‘slim down’ the monarchy?

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The crowning of King Charles III marked several major changes to the monarchy. 

Most significantly however is a potential “slimming down” of the monarchy, something Charles has long been an advocate for. 

But what does it actually mean?

WATCH NOW: Unseen footage of King Charles revealed in a new documentary. Article continues after video. 

What is a slimmed-down monarchy? 

If we cut right to it, a slimmed-down monarchy would see the number of “working royals” cut to seven key members. 

This would include Charles (obviously), Queen Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, and heir apparent to the throne William, alongside his wife, Catherine, the Princess of Wales, and Princess Anne. 

If we go by those who appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following King Charles III’s coronation, the current list of working royals includes the above-mentioned as well as The Duke of Kent (both Prince Phillip and Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin) and Princess Alexandra (Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin), alongside the Duke (another cousin to the late Queen) and Duchess of Gloucester. 

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Princess Anne was the ‘hardest working’ royal in 2022. (Credit: Getty)

What is a working royal?

A working royal is a member of the royal family whose sole job is to represent the interests of the reigning monarch at countless public engagements. 

These official duties and engagements are undertaken on behalf of the monarch who understandably cannot be everywhere at once, and can include everything from attending meetings with international dignitaries, tours, hosting state dinners, and going to both parliamentary and constitutional events across the country and abroad. 

RELATED || Princess Anne’s “incredible workload” 

Working royals also undertake patronages of a number of British-based and international organisations, an example being Princess Anne’s patronage of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW. 

Speaking of Princess Anne, in 2022, the 72-year-old was the “hardest working royal” clocking in an impressive 214 official engagements.

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With few exceptions, a slimmed down monarchy would see working royals consist of immediate family. (Credit: Getty)

Do working royals get paid? 

Whilst they do work for a living, it would surprise you that the working royals do not actually earn money for the official duties they undertake on behalf of the crown, at least from the general public (as one would expect). 

King Charles III is the only member of the royal family who receives a salary from the British parliament, i.e. taxpayer money, to run his official business. 

RELATED || Princess Anne: “The monarchy is still relevant”

This funding comes directly from an annual sovereign grant that equates to approx $2.23 Australian Dollars for every resident of the United Kingdom via the Treasury. 

He also offsets the incomes of fellow working royals from his private privy purse income he receives from the Duchy of Lancaster, a unique portfolio of land, property, and assets held in trust for the Sovereign, with an expected value of more than $1.2 BILLION Australian dollars.

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Speaking of money, Charles will replace his mother on currency across the Commonwealth. (Credit: Getty)

Would a slimmed-down monarchy be a good thing? 

Well yes! 

Less working royals means less money out of the British taxpayer’s pocket, and surprisingly Charles is in full support of this!

The monarch is reportedly very keen to reduce the number of royal family members who are financially reliant on the institution and the funding it receives from the taxpayer. 

This would also see his family members pay for their own housing with subsidized rents eradicated over time. 

RELATED || Prince Andrew “bewildered” by not receiving any inheritance from The Queen 

If such moves were made by Charles to ‘cut off’ family members who were financially reliant on him, we are certain it would work wonders for his popularity. 

Given members of the royal family are all obscenely wealthy to varying degrees, we are sure they would all be financially fine if Charles follows through with his plans (we are looking at you Prince Andrew).

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Whilst they were still working royals, Harry and Meghan lived at Frogmore Cottage where they spent $2.4 million pounds in british taxpayer money on renovations (Credit: Getty)

Are there any drawbacks to a slimmed-down monarchy?

Unfortunately for Charles, if he reduces the number of working members of the royal family, he runs the risk of being “unable to do it all.”

Less working royals means that the monarchy is unable to attend as many engagements which could ultimately see the existing working royals burn out or public support fall.

WATCH NOW: Prince Charles pledges he will not be a ‘meddling’ king. Article continues after video. 

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What have working royals said about a slimmed-down monarchy?

When asked about the idea of a slimmed-down monarchy, Princess Anne said whilst she was previously in favour of the idea, she wasn’t so sure anymore. 

“Well, I think the slim down was said in a day when there were a few more people around to make that seem like a justifiable comment,” she said in an interview with Canadian broadcaster CBC. 

“[The world] it changes a bit. I mean, it doesn’t sound like a good idea, from where I’m standing, I have to say. I’m not quite sure what else we can do.”

Whilst Charles has not commented publicly on his plans, royal correspondent Juliet Rieden has previously told the Today Show that Charles is very much interested in slimming down the monarchy to a core group, largely his own family and their wives and children. 

“I think that is a good move because the British public does not want to be paying taxpayer money for someone who they see as bringing the monarchy into disrepute.”

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Andrew is sure to be the first of many royals to be cut off and cast out of royal duties (Credit: Getty)

What has King Charles done so far to “slim down” the monarchy?

In August 2023, insider sources revealed that the newly minted monarch was planning to cut dozens of jobs within the royal household to reduce costs. 

Whilst an exact number has not yet been confirmed, it is expected that a fifth of “middle management” staff will be offered redundancies.

“There is a real feeling that the staffing at all the palaces is too heavy,” a royal source spilled to the Mail on Sunday. 

“There are far too many assistants to assistants. The King and Queen would prefer to pay people proper wages from top to bottom but have fewer people. For instance, there are chefs to them and chefs for the staff. Why, they ask, can’t there be one lot of kitchen staff for everyone?”

As for the reduction of working royals, Charles has already made sure to remove younger brother Andrew from public life, a decision his late mother the Queen supported after Andrew was linked to Jeffrey Epstein. 

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Charles could follow in the footsteps of Denmark and Sweden. (Credit: Getty)

Are there any other slimmed-down monarchies in the world?

In 2019, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden removed five of his grandchildren (belonging to his daughter Princess Madeleine and son Prince Carl Philip) from the royal house, removing their titles as ‘royal highnesses’ and their obligation to perform royal duties on behalf of the throne. 

The two grandchildren – Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar – of his first-born daughter Crown Princess Victoria retained their titles given they are next in line to the throne. 

Similarly in 2022 in Denmark, Queen Margrethe II stripped four of her grandchildren belonging to her second-born son Prince Joachim of their royal titles whilst her remaining four grandchildren belonging to heir apparent Crown Prince Frederik and Australian-born Crown Princess Mary retained their titles.

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