Prince Harry and Prince Andrew will not be standing in for King Charles III as he recuperates from surgery next week. This is thanks to a 2022 Act of Parliament that states only "working members of the royal family will be called on to act as counselors of state."
A counselor of state is a senior royal that can officially act on the monarch's behalf when the Sovereign is out of the country or incapacitated. Those selected are traditionally the king or reigning queen's spouse, which is currently Queen Camilla, and the first four in the line of succession to the throne, granted they are over 21 and maintain residence in the United Kingdom. Prince William, Harry, Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice are the current monarchy members meeting the criteria. The King instructed his government to add Prince Edward and Princess Anne in 2022.
Charles III cannot remove his son or the disgraced Andrew from the list, since it is Parliament's responsibility to do so. Rather than requesting the government to do this, he decided to simply add Edward and Anne to the counselors slate in case the Queen or Prince of Wales were unable to represent him. The assumption is that their addition means Harry or Andrew will never need to be used.
The news comes as the Montecito royals have yet to comment on the medical issues surrounding both the King and Catherine, Princess of Wales, who had abdominal surgery on Tuesday, January 16.
Once William and Kate's children come of age, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, will eventually replace Harry, Andrew and Beatrice on the list. Although Harry is not and likely never will be needed to act as Britain's temporary head of state, the Duke is coming under fire from royal analysts for his lack of response to Charles III and the Princess of Wales' predicaments.
Wouldn't it have been good for Prince Harry to have supported his brother and his family instead of allowing very unkind and cruel things to be said about Kate in both his books Spare and in books which appear to have been written with his approval, if not cooperation?" royal journalist Michael Cole told an outlet.
Cole went on to share how both Harry and Meghan Markle could have "won a place in the hearts of British people" had they both decided to return or publicly announce their offer of assistance.
"I am wondering, sitting on their hilltop fortress in California, how they are pondering this turn of events," he added. "They would have had a chance to star. In the absence of the King and the Princess of Wales in hospital, they would have had a chance to pick up the slack. To be shown to be pulling their weight."
The Daily Beast reported on the counselor-in-state shakeup.