A procedural tradition could land Prince Andrew a leading role in the country while leaving Princess Anne out in the cold, according to a royal expert.
Robert Peston, ITV’s Political Editor, has said Counsellors of State include the monarch’s spouse as well as the top four royals in line to the throne under arrangements also in place during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.
He tweeted: “The monarch appoints five Counsellors of State to stand in for him when he is unwell or out of the UK. They are his spouse plus the top four in succession to the crown who are aged 21 or over.”
He continued: “These include Prince Andrew and his daughter Princess Beatrice (only just appointed) but not Princess Anne, who is probably the most widely respected of the Royal Family.
“Many would say this is nuts, especially since the 2013 Succession to the Crown Act ended primogeniture, though only for those born after 2011.
“So if King Charles were incapacitated, Andrew would step in, not Anne.”
Peston’s tweet has sparked fears Andrew could continue in a role which some would prefer Anne occupied, with one wrote on Twitter: “people would not stand” for Andrew having a role”.
Another responded as saying: “they did not think people would approve of Andrew occupying the role.”
A third one wrote: “Princess Anne’s not being a Counsellor of State as bonkers”.
The fourth one wrote: “Princess Anne is clearly a person of great honesty and trust. It would be correct for her as the Queen’s eldest daughter to lead.”
By law, Counsellors of State are the wife or husband of the monarch, if they are married, and the four people who are next in line to the throne.