The Prince of Wales will become Patron of the Royal Institution in the New Year, taking over from his Mother The Queen, who is stepping down from the role to reduce her workload.
Prince Charles has been Vice-Patron of the Royal Institute since 1979, meaning there will be a smooth transition between Her Majesty and the Prince.
Chairman of the Royal Institute, Sir Richard Sykes, said: “HRH Her Majesty The Queen steps down as the Royal Institution’s Royal Patron today, after 64 years of dedicated service to our charity.
“On behalf of our community of trustees, staff, members, volunteers and supporters, we would like to thank the Queen for her valuable support and enthusiasm given over so many years which has helped us engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds with the wonders and applications of science.
“We are delighted to announce that HRH The Prince of Wales, who has been the Royal Institution’s Vice Patron since 1979, will now take on the role of our Royal Patron.
“HRH The Duke of Kent will continue to support our charity in his existing role as President.
“The Royal Institution is grateful to the support we have received from these members of the Royal Family and many others ever since we were first founded in 1799 and received our Royal Charter in 1800.”
Her Majesty, who turned 90 this year, is thought to be stepping down as Patron of the Royal Institution and 24 other organisations due to her advancing age and the gradual decline in her workload.
The news that The Queen will no longer be Patron of these 25 charities is not unexpected. In 2011, when The Duke of Edinburgh turned 90, he also gave up a number of patronages.
The Queen is currently Patron of over 600 organisations, meaning the 25 she is handing over is a relatively small 5% of her workload.
Other members of The Royal Family, including Prince William, are taking up the patronages.
So far, it has been announced that The Duchess of Cornwall will become Patron of Barnardo’s, The Countess of Wessex will become Patron of the NSPCC, and The Duke of Cambridge will take over the royal patronage of the Amateur Swimming Association.