Great Britain

Prince Charles and son William will lead royal summit to decide future of the monarchy

PRINCE CHARLES and his son William will lead a summit to decide the future of the monarchy following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

They are set to discuss plans of a slimmed slimmed-down sovereignty over the next two generations - with fewer full-time working members of the Royal family, what they should do and who they should be.

Prince Philip’s death also leaves vacant the hundreds of patronages that he held.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to move to California and step back from royal life is also thought to have prompted the move. 

The talks will be led by Prince Charles and Prince William will be involved in every stage, along with the Queen.

A source told The Telegraph: “The question is whether you start off by deciding how many patronages and engagements there should be, and then work out how many people are needed to achieve them, or whether you decide how many people there should be, which will dictate how many engagements and patronages they can take on.”

The decision of who will take on the prominent positions cannot be discussed solely, according to royal insiders, due to the two going hand in hand.

The Prince of Wales will dominate the deliberations as the next in line to the throne, but he has made clear Wills must be consulted for each stage as any significant changes will inevitably be incorporated into his son's reign.

Charles' youngest brother, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, are thought to be substitutes for Meg and Harry after they stepped back from their royal roles.

The couple maintained a notable presence in the lead up to Philip's funeral - but their prior engagements could scupper plans for them to stand in.

They carried out 544 royal duties between them last year before the pandemic, meaning they will have little time spare to take on the Sussexes and Prince Andrew's duties.

As well as Philip's patronages going spare, the royals must redistribute the hundreds of patronages and military titles of the three absent members - if Andrew's retirement amid the Jeffery Epstein saga is permanent.

The talks are set to take place over the coming months between the Queen, Charles, and Wills, after they were pushed back due to the Duke of Edinburgh's ill health.

Royal insiders suggested it was originally a top priority for the family after Harry and Meghan's one-year review period concluded last month.

They could overhaul the entire historical system, cutting back the plentiful public engagements in favour of a less demanding schedule - which would allow them to divvy up commitments and patronages between fewer family members.

It is a concept favoured by William, who believes that by limiting the number of organisations he is committed to, he can be a more valuable asset to them.

In 2019, he carried out 220 duties, a considerably smaller amount than his father Charles, who remains faithful to royal traditions, carrying out over 500 engagements each year.

The change in pace set to be discussed could see the current collective narrowed down to a mere handful of senior members who concentrate on a smaller number of causes.

The evolution of Britain's oldest institution could take decades and will be phased in rather than being a "step change", insiders told the Telegraph.

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