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Buckingham Palace in chaos: the English royal family is “shrinking”

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Buckingham Palace in chaos: the English royal family is “shrinking”

LONDON. After Harry and Meghan’s exit from the games, and the hospitalization of Kate and King Charles III, the English royal family has problems managing public commitments. There are now few members who can cover the rich agenda. Although the Princess of Wales and Charles were released from hospital on Monday, Buckingham Palace announced that they will both need more time to recover. But they are not the only ones to have taken a break from public life.

Prince William has cleared his schedule to be by his wife’s side and support his family during this difficult period (at least until Easter). He is joined by Prince Edward, 59, who has decided to take “a short break following his foreign trips in January to South Africa and St Helena”, as the Telegraph reported on Tuesday. Edward’s choice, which comes at a critical moment for Buckingham Palace, is not unusual. After four days of intense official meetings in South Africa and St. Helena, it is normal for a royal to take a short rest. It is understood that Prince Edward does not expect to resume public engagements for another week. According to the calendar of the British royal family, on February 8 the Duke of Edinburgh will attend a reception at the Institute of Physics and a talent presentation at the Savoy as patron of the Production Guild of Great Britain.

But who will have to attend the other official duties? Now the spotlight will focus on Camilla, Princess Anne and Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh. In recent weeks, all three women have had busy schedules. Camilla, at 76, has taken part in numerous initiatives: from the celebration of the centenary of Queen Mary’s Dolls House to a visit to a hospital on the occasion of World Cancer Day. Sophie attended a menstrual health workshop at Harris Girls’ Academy in London last week. Princess Anne, known for being the most active of royals despite her 73 years of age, inaugurated the new Riding for the Disabled facilities at Reaseheath Equestrian College last week and also took part in the celebrations for the recognition of Jodrell Bank as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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How long will Princess Kate and King Charles be away?
After having to stay in hospital for between 10 and 14 days, the Princess of Wales will have to continue her recovery at home. And the statement from Kensington Palace suggests that the princess will not return to public immediately. As mentioned above, at least until Easter. As for King Charles, who underwent prostate surgery, a royal source confirmed that he would be able to fulfill his constitutional duties even during the recovery period. But once he left the clinic, Buckingham Palace made it known that the king had rescheduled his public commitments for a private recovery period at an unknown residence.

How the crisis will be addressed
The conjunction of the health problems of the King and Princess of Wales has exposed a difficult reality: the royal family is getting smaller.

In recent years the number of “royals working in public” has decreased, while the “House” sought to renew itself and keep up with the times. Only the reigning royals handle affairs on behalf of the king, dividing an incredibly busy schedule among themselves. If we look at last year, the visits and events organized by Buckingham Palace reach 2,710.

The royal family is expected to consist of 14 members: King Charles, Queen Camilla, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Welsh, the Sussexes, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Duke and the Duchess of Kent. This was until Princes Harry and Meghan “chose” to abandon the family and Andrea was forced to do so, in light of his involvement in the Epstein case. Doing the math, 11 royals remain active at the moment, and more than half are over 70 years old.

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Until Charles, Kate and William return, Camilla will be the highest-ranking public face in the British monarchy, with only seven other members to support her. In the last two weeks the Queen has significantly increased the number of meetings, but the hours available are few. Some have wondered whether it would be useful to include Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. After all, they occasionally supported the late Queen Elizabeth II to follow the agenda.

What this period has shown is that the British royals are an institution, but also a normal family, subject to human frailties, and this may be something Charles may want to address in the future.

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