The coronavirus outbreak in the UK may force Princess Beatrice to mount a new position in the Royal Family. As the infectious deadly virus continues to spread and rock the nation, Queen Elizabeth II could possibly be forced to give up her constitutional duties following the Government’s scheme for all Britons over-70s to get self-quarantine.
History shows that usually, five Counsellors of State should be on hand to fill-in for the Queen in the event that she is unable to do so. Moreso, the coronavirus could warrant the Regency Act 1937 to establish a sixth Counsellor, following the Royal Central.
Currently, the existing Counsellors of State are the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of York and no one else.
It’s therefore required that two or more Counsellors of State will need to be present at one time. On the part of Prince Charles, he’s 71, which means that he may have to be quarantined along with Prince Phillip who is currently 98-year-old.
As you may know, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew are currently not regarded as working royals due to some ‘step-down dramas’ but this doesn’t suggest in any way that they cannot act as Counsellors of State.
Although it may be highly controversial if they take up the role. That makes it that Prince William is the only Counsellor who is a working royal and who is likely to remain out of self-isolation.
The Counsellors of State must come from the consort of the Queen and must be the first four people in the line of succession. For a person to be chosen, the person has to be 21 and above even though the heir to the throne becomes qualified when they reach eighteen.
In the case where two Counsellors of State are required and only one is readily available then it will be required of the Parliament to amend the Regency Act.
All arrows are currently pointing to Princess Beatrice of York who is ninth in line to the throne to take up the role.
In the event that the royals are unable to carry out their historical duties then the Government may fall apart as it’s a necessity that someone has to be able to carry out the duties of the sovereign.
Some of the tasks that Counsellors of States and the sovereign handles include granting royal assent, issuing royal proclamations, appointing judges and Queen’s Counsel as well.
As it stands, it’s expected that the Duke of York will step up as Counsellor, even if doing so may stir up controversy owing to his recent links to convicted sex offender billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
The British Royal historian “Marlene Koenig” said that extra Counsellors are most needed but that it is unlikely to happen to Princess Beatrice.
“In 1944 when Lord Lascelles was a prisoner of war, he was briefly removed as a Counsellor of State and replaced with Princess Alexandra of Connaught.
“However, this was not actually legal because the Regency Act does not allow for a replacement.
“Lord Lascelles was taken prisoner in 1944. He had replaced the Countess of Southesk as a Counsellor on his 21st birthday a few months earlier.
“Princess Elizabeth turned 18-years-old in April 1944 – and she replaced Princess Alexandra, the Countess Southesk’s older sister.
“But with Lord Lascelles taken prisoner in June 1944, the King issued a Letters Patent that August putting Alexandra back on the list, even though it was technically not allowed.
“So there is precedence, sort of, but in case of the Queen being ill, I think they would have to make do with the group they have,” Marlene Koenig explained.