• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Could Prince Harry be about to step into royal duties again?

·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Following the Queen's recent overnight stay in hospital, and advice from her doctors to rest for at least two weeks, its likely that Her Majesty will start to slow down on her Royal duties in the coming weeks and months – particularly as we head towards her Platinum Jubilee next year, which will undoubtedly be an incredibly busy time for the Monarch.

With that in mind, the question as to who will take her place at official events and public appearances has been on the lips of many royal experts as of late. Although the decision to delegate duties falls to the Queen, and so she may decide not to pass over any duties at all, it's likely that some of her more arduous obligations will be handed down to younger Royals.

In fact, by law, should the Queen be temporarily unable to carry out her duties (whether that's due to illness or being out of the country) then her 'counsellors of state' can step in. The counsellors are made up of the sovereign's spouse (which would have been the late Prince Philip) and the next four people in the line of succession, counting only those who are over the age of 21. These are, Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew.

Despite Harry opting to step down from Senior Royal duties last year with his wife, Meghan Markle, and making the transatlantic move to the US, he would still be required by law to act as a counsellor of state. Similarly, Prince Andrew would also be required to take on the role, regardless of the fact he is no longer permitted to carry out his Royal duties due to his connection to the Jeffrey Epstein controversy.

If Prince Harry were to step in on behalf of the Queen, alongside his father and brother, there are still rules in place as to which duties he'd be allowed to take on. "Obviously, as the Queen gets older, more duties will be devolved upon other members of the Royal Family," Prof Vernon Bogdanor, an author, political scientist and expert on the British constitution, told The Guardian. "The other royals can do anything except the constitutional functions, such as audiences with the prime minister and signing acts of parliament."

Essentially, there's a list of do's and don'ts when it comes to what the Queen's counsellors of state can do on her behalf, but certain duties can only be carried out by the sovereign. Duties that the likes of Prince William and Harry could carry out include attending privy council meetings, signing routine documents and receiving credentials of new ambassadors to the UK.

On the flip side, the duties reserved only for the Queen include the dissolving of parliament, the creation of peers and appointing a prime minister, as well as matters relating to the Commonwealth. 

It seems then, that if the Queen does decide to spend more time resting and less time carrying out Royal duties, then we may see Prince Harry return to life as a Senior Royal after all. 

Watch: Paddy McGuinness kissed Prince Harry

You Might Also Like

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting