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British RoyalsQueen Elizabeth II

Who are the Counsellors of State after the death of Queen Elizabeth II?

With the change of reign comes a change in the Counsellors of State, a delegation of members of the Royal Family who can be called upon to act officially in King Charles III’s place.

According to the laws of the United Kingdom, the Counsellors of State consist of five people: the sovereign’s spouse and the next four royals in the line of succession who are over the age of 21. In addition, two members are required to act to carry out any duties within their strict parameters.

There are other requirements for Counsellors of State, including that they must be domiciled in the UK, and they must not be disqualified from becoming the sovereign. In terms of age limits, Counsellors of State must be 21 years of age, unless they are the direct heir, in which case they take their place as a Counsellor upon their 18th birthday.

Here are the Counsellors of State under King Charles III.

Queen Camilla

As queen consort to King Charles III, Camilla automatically takes a place as a Counsellor of State to her husband. She has served as a Counsellor since 8 September, upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Prior to her, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, served as a Counsellor of State for his wife, Elizabeth II. Despite retiring from public duties in 2017, he retained his position of Counsellor of State until his death on 9 April 2021.

The Prince of Wales

William became eligible to be a Counsellor of State on 21 June 2003, serving under his grandmother until her death on 8 September. During that time, his most famous example of serving as a Counsellor of State was earlier this year, when he and his father, then-Prince Charles, opened Parliament on Queen Elizabeth II’s behalf.

The Duke of Sussex

Prince Harry first became a Counsellor of State on 15 September 2005, serving under his grandmother until her death on 8 September and now serving his father, King Charles III.

His position is a unique one as Counsellors of State are required to be domiciled in the UK, and he currently lives abroad in California with his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, and their two children. However, he maintains a rental property on the grounds of the Windsor Castle estate at Frogmore Cottage and renewed the lease in February 2022, thereby continuing his residency within the country.

The Duke of York

King Charles III’s controversial brother Prince Andrew remains a Counsellor of State into the new reign, first becoming one on 19 February 1981 when he reached his 21st birthday. Notably, he replaced the Duke of Gloucester.

Prince Andrew’s position as a Counsellor of State is also unique in that he does not carry out official duties on behalf of the monarch anymore; however, as he continues to be domiciled in the UK and remains in the line of succession, he will serve as a Counsellor of State until one of the children of the Prince of Wales comes of age to replace him.

Princess Beatrice, Mrs Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi

The newest Counsellor of State is Princess Beatrice, who did not serve under her grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and only came into the position upon the accession of her uncle, King Charles III.

Princess Beatrice currently carries out very few official duties on behalf of the Royal Family and is ninth in line to the throne. However, she, along with Queen Camilla and Prince William, is one of only three members who do work on behalf of the family.

Counsellors of State are limited in what they can and cannot do. They can carry out official functions like holding Privy Council meetings or receiving the credentials of new ambassadors, but they cannot grant ranks or titles, dissolve Parliament or deal with Commonwealth matters.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the next time there is a change to the members who make up the Counsellors of State will be on Prince George’s 21st birthday on 22 July 2034.

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.