When he was Prince of Wales, the new King spoke often of his plans to scale down the monarchy.
But King Charles III ’s plan to “slim down| the Royal Family is going too far, and in the wrong direction, according to Meghan Markle ’s pal Omid Scobie.
Scobie says that the more photogenic royals – such as Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice – should be talking more high-profile roles and questioned why the Duke of Gloucester, who he considers a minor member of The Firm was still representing the UK overseas.
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Writing for Yahoo News, Scobie said that sidelining valuable assets like Beatrice and Eugenie had been a mistake.
The slimmed-down monarchy plan was first floated in the 1990s, when Charles and his mother established a committee called the “Way Ahead Group” to deal with the rising criticism of the Royal Family during that scandal-plagued period.
Charles had hoped to limit the “family business” to just himself, his two sons, and in time their families.
But, Scobie points out, a lot has changed since then: "One of those sons is no longer a working royal and happily living a new life in California. And Prince Andrew, once part of that leaner lineup, was forced to retire due to to the shame of underage sexual assault allegations and his close relationships with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell”.
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The result, he says, is a royal family without enough actual royals to service the huge workload of charitable and diplomatic engagements that cram the royal diary every year.
And in particular there’s a marked shortage of royals under 40. Scobie cites the Duke of Gloucester – who is 30th in line to the throne now and nearing his 79th birthday – as a case in point.
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie have expressed interest in undertaking occasional royal duties in the past, Scobie says, only to be told that they didn’t “fit in with King Charles’ vision”.
But perhaps, the Finding Freedom author adds, it’s time to revisit that.
“Since Charles became King there has already been talk of a time when the princesses may see their titles downgraded,” Scobie says, “as the monarch looks at culling the number of title holders in the family…but it feels like he’s missing a trick here”.
Sources close to the King have said there are currently "no plans" to cut the number of working royals with critics saying it is an indication he could follow a more conservative course than previously thought.
Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, suggested the Duke of Gloucester and the late Queen's other cousins would continue for a while yet: "I think they are needed to just carry on what they are doing."
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