After waiting his whole life for the throne, Prince Charles is set to slim down the monarchy and prioritise green issues as he becomes King.
It was announced today that Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96, after 70 years on the throne, plunging the world into mourning.
Her son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, is now King. He is expected to make an address to the nation within hours.
The 73-year-old’s duties have been ramping up in the last few years, and earlier this summer, during its annual review, Buckingham Palace reduced or removed some of the official appointments the Queen fulfils.
This left Charles primed to step up and take on some of the more demanding duties, while others, such as the State Opening of Parliament, once thought a necessary constitutional convention, were removed.
The amendments marked the first time in at least a decade that the Palace’s annual report has edited or amended the Queen’s duties.
However the full details of Charles’ future plan for the Monarchy have never been revealed.
However, it has been speculated that only heirs to the throne and their immediate families will receive full titles, financial support from the public purse through the Sovereign Grant and police protection funded by the taxpayer.
And the royal has a radical plan to overhaul the vast Royal estate, including moving into a ‘flat above shop’ at Buckingham Palace and turning Balmoral into a museum to the Queen.
Here FEMAIL reveals exactly what kind of King the British public can expect Charles to be…
After a 70-year wait for the throne, the Prince of Wales is set to slim down the monarchy and prioritise green issues as he finally gets his hands on the crown
The Prince of Wales has been vocal about his passion for the environment throughout his life (pictured with the Queen)
The royal has a radical plan to overhaul the vast Royal estate, including moving into a ‘flat above shop’ at Buckingham Palace and turning Balmoral into a museum to the Queen
The Queen, pictured in her final appearance in public as she travelled to Balmoral for her annual holiday, has died today aged 96
Ahead of his coronation, Prince Charles will address the nation, before going on a tour of the UK
A leak of secret arrangements for when The Queen dies – codenamed London Bridge – last year shed a light on how Prince Charles will accede to the throne.
Details of Operation Spring Tide show how the Prince of Wales will be proclaimed as the new monarch before going on a tour of the United Kingdom before returning to London for his mother’s funeral.
On the day of The Queen’s death, plans suggested Charles would first hold an audience with the Prime Minister as the nation goes into a period of mourning.
At 6pm, he will deliver a broadcast to the nation, expected to be partly to pay tribute to his mother’s years of public service.
At 10am the next morning the Accession Council, made up of senior ministers, civil servants and Commonwealth leaders, will meet at St. James’ Palace to proclaim King Charles the new sovereign.
A leak of secret arrangements for when The Queen dies – codenamed London Bridge – last year shed a light on how Prince Charles will accede to the throne
Attendees are expected to wear morning dress with no decorations. A proclamation of King Charles’ accession will then be read at St. James’ Palace and the Royal Exchange in the City of London.
Charles will then hold another audience with the Prime Minister and other Cabinet members at 3.30pm.
Three days after the monarch’s death, King Charles will receive the motion of condolence at Westminster Hall.
After this he will embark on a tour of the United Kingdom, visiting all three devolved nations where he will attend services.
Charles will start his tour in Scotland, visiting the devolved parliament and a service at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.
The next day he will move onto Northern Ireland to receive another motion of condolence at Hillsborough Castle, before a service at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.
During the King’s time outside of London, the government will go into overdrive for preparing The Queen’s funeral, practising the procession through Westminster and also details of the service.
The King will make the final stop of his tour in Wales with a visit to the Welsh parliament and a service at Liandaff Cathedral in Cardiff.
He will arrive back in London ahead of the tenth day since the monarch’s death, when the state funeral is planned to take place. The Queen’s burial in Windsor Castle will take place later.
The natural progression after this is for King Charles to hold his coronation. This detail was however not included in the leak of plan, but could much like with The Queen’s following the death of her father, be several months later.
The Prince of Wales is planning to dramatically slim down the Monarchy once he ascends the throne
This picture of Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince George was released at the start of January in 2020 to mark a new decade
Charles is determined to limit the number of key Royals, believing the public does not wish to pay for an ever-expanding Monarchy.
Hundreds of patronages will be passed down and moved to different members of the family
Throughout the last two years, Prince Charles is said to have been leading talks on how to distribute hundreds of patronages left empty by the deaths of the Queen and Prince Philip.
But he is understood to have wanted his son the Duke of Cambridge involved every step of the way for major policies that affect him when he inherits the throne.
Meanwhile Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex are believed to be stepping into the void left by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s exit.
They are expected to take on bigger roles despite already fulfilling 544 duties as of the last year before the coronavirus lockdown.
Harry and Meghan did 558 jobs between them in 2019, meaning the Royals have to review how these will be redistributed.
Prince Andrew, who stepped back from duties after his Newsnight interview over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, also has roles that may need to be dished out.
The Duke of York, Prince Philip and Prince Harry have hundreds of patronages and military titles that now need to be taken on.
An insider revealed in 2020: ‘Charles has never made any secret of the fact that he wants a slimmed-down Monarchy when he becomes King.
‘He realises that the public don’t want to pay for a huge Monarchy and, as he said, the balcony at Buckingham Palace would probably collapse.’
Charles and his younger brother, the Duke of York, have already been at loggerheads about what security Andrew’s daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie should receive in future.
Meanwhile he told the Sussexes that he will change key legal documents to ensure that Archie cannot get the title he would once have inherited by right, according to a source close to the couple.
The decision, which followed months of fraught discussion behind the scenes, plunged relations between Harry and his relatives to a low.
Insiders suggested they hadn’t seen the move coming, and were shocked to find that Charles planned to take the active step of changing legal instruments known as the Letters Patent in order to exclude Archie and others.
The loss will be all the more galling as the Sussexes have made a point of refusing to use another, lesser title for their son, who is technically the Earl of Dumbarton. They took that decision safe in the knowledge that Archie would become a Prince in due course.
Last year, a source close to the Sussexes confirmed they did indeed expect Archie to be named a Prince when Charles, Archie’s grandfather, acceded to the throne. Their spokesman at the time was even instructed to remind journalists of that ‘fact’.
The existing rules for Royal titles were established in Letters Patent dated November 20, 1917.
In these, King George V, the Queen’s grandfather, allowed the title of Prince and Princess to be given to the children of the sovereign, the children of the sovereign’s sons and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales – in this case, Prince George.
Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, William’s daughter and younger son, received their titles not by right but as gifts of the Queen, who issued new Letters Patent to that effect in 2013. Similarly, when King, Charles will have the power to change George V’s Letters Patent how he sees fit – and so streamline The Firm.
The Queen began attending fewer engagements in the final months of her life (pictured, at Thames Hospice, Maidenhead, Berkshire in July 2022)
Charles is determined to limit the number of key Royals, believing the public does not wish to pay for an ever-expanding Monarchy
Royal will prioritize green issues, having spoken out about climate change over many years
Charles’ concern about man-made damage to nature began several decades ago, as he recalled in the interview, with the grubbing of countless hedgerows, the draining of wetlands, and the destruction of woodland.
As the years have passed, Prince Charles has become increasingly alarmed by climate change, sometimes to the point of being apocalyptic.
…and he won’t give up his pet projects
The Prince of Wales will find new ways to champion favourite causes, throwing open Royal palaces and ‘bringing people together to find solutions’.
One insider described it as a plan to be ‘a convenor King rather than a campaigner King’.
Significantly, it appears he has agreed not to be outspoken or to court controversy.
It is said the Prince summed up his new approach during a meeting in the Canadian capital of Ottawa on Wednesday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England.
‘Even if people just turn up to see what it’s like inside my house, they may then stay to solve the problems that we face,’ he told them.
Charles has been criticised for his strong views on subjects such as architecture, homeopathy, organic food and traditional farming methods, and some have questioned how his opinions will fit with the impartiality required of the monarch.
It seems, however, that his future interventions will have a focus on ‘listening rather than speaking’.
A Royal source said: ‘He never gives up on issues and keeps going back to people to find out what progress has been made.
‘But this is the distinction: not solving problems himself but listening to people’s concerns and bringing others together to solve them.’
When the prince was asked by Justin Rowlatt, the BBC’s climate editor, what he thought about the eco-zealots who bunged up the M25 last year, and brought parts of London to a standstill, he replied that he ‘totally understood the frustration’.
Meanwhile when asked about his own carbon footprint, the prince proudly revealed that his vintage Aston Martin runs on surplus white wine and whey from cheese-making.
Another supposed sacrifice he makes is not to eat dairy foods on Mondays, and to avoid fish and meat two days a week.
And during a speech last year, the Duke of Cornwall said the pandemic had taught the world ‘timelines can be sped up dramatically’ when everyone ‘agrees on the urgency and the direction’.
The future king said top CEOs and businesses he had spoken to confirmed they were ready to do their part to protect the globe from climate change.
Charles said the strength of the ‘global private sector’ was greater than governments and represented the only ‘real prospect’ of fundamental change.
The Prince was pictured speaking to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez about climate change at Dumfries House last year.
His passionate plea for action came as he addressed world leaders at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
However when he becomes King he will not be able to be as vocal about the issue.
Prince Charles will live in ‘flat above the shop’ and Buckingham Palace will be thrown open to the public in a radical overhaul of the royal estate
The Monarch’s lavish living quarters at Buckingham Palace are set to be reduced to little more than ‘a flat above the shop’ when Prince Charles becomes King.
The plan is part of a radical drive to overhaul the vast Royal estate, which will involve the official London residence being thrown open to the public more than ever before.
Other changes being considered under Charles’s wide-ranging plans include turning Balmoral into a museum to the Queen and moving the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge into Windsor Castle, The Mail on Sunday understands.
Charles is said not to want the Berkshire residence for himself as its position under the Heathrow flight path makes it ‘too noisy’.
The plan is part of a radical drive to overhaul the vast Royal estate, which will involve the official London residence (pictured) being thrown open to the public more than ever
A friend previously confirmed: ‘The property question is on the ‘to do’ list.’
He has been meeting with courtiers to discuss what happens to the palaces when the direct line of accession is reduced to himself and Camilla, plus the Cambridges.
The source said: ‘The Prince of Wales strongly believes that these places have got to deliver something for the public beyond just being somewhere for members of the Royal Family to live. Everything is seen through the lens of the question: ‘What value is this offering to the public?’
‘Everybody recognises it makes no sense to run so many residences but if you give them up entirely you will never get them back when Prince George and the younger Royals grow up and need somewhere to live.’
Charles faces a daunting diplomatic task to persuade his family over the changes.
Other changes being considered under Charles’s wide-ranging plans include moving the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge into Windsor Castle (pictured), The Mail on Sunday understands
The Duke of York is said to be particularly anxious about his home, Park Lodge in Windsor Great Park. However, courtiers say there is no suggestion he will be asked to move.
Prince Edward and Princess Anne are also said to be safe in Bagshot Park at Windsor and Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire respectively.
But others – including Andrew’s daughters Beatrice and Eugenie – will be vying for accommodation in the reshuffle.
Buckingham Palace, which is undergoing a ten-year, £369 million renovation, is set to be opened up on a much greater scale, with public access all year round instead of the usual seasonal admission.
Meanwhile, the Monarch’s living quarters – which currently include 52 Royal and guest bedrooms and 188 staff bedrooms – will be dramatically cut.
A friend of Charles said: ‘Despite what everybody thinks about him not wanting to live there, he will certainly have accommodation there – but it will be a much more modest flat-above-the-shop situation akin to that of the Prime Minister at Downing Street.
Charles is also considering turning Balmoral Castle (pictured), the Scottish holiday home to the Royal Family, into a museum to the Queen
‘Both the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall are very practical and see that the reigning Monarch must live at Buckingham Palace, otherwise it would become like Hampton Court’ – a visitor attraction rather than a working royal palace.
The friend added that the Cambridges are likely to move to Windsor – a relocation the family are said to want.
‘Charles is not keen on Windsor because it is quite noisy,’ the source added: ‘His view is that if he’s heading to Windsor, he may as well carry on to Highgrove in Gloucestershire.’
Charles is expected to keep his beloved Highgrove as his family home. It is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, which William will inherit when Charles becomes King. Then William will be his father’s landlord, taking £700,000 a year rent.
In London, Charles’s official Clarence House residence was originally earmarked for Harry but his departure to California means that is ‘no longer on the cards’.
Prince Charles has said he will not be moving into Windsor Castle as King because of the noisy Heathrow flight path. Pictured: British Airways A380 Airbus airliner flies over the Castle
It is now more likely to be saved for Prince George, Princess Charlotte or Prince Louis, although its outdated decor is a turn-off for younger Royals.
A source said: ‘No one is terribly fond of Clarence House because it’s still seen very much as the Queen Mother’s place.’
Charles intends to keep another of his grandmother’s properties – Birkhall in Scotland, which he inherited on her death in 2002 and one of the few places where he is said to feel at home.
It is part of the Balmoral Estate, the Queen’s favourite residence. Balmoral’s grounds and gardens are closed to the public in the summer when she is in residence but under Charles, there is set to be far greater access.
A source said: ‘The talk is of opening a museum paying tribute to the Queen.’
Even Sandringham in Norfolk, which is privately owned by the Royal Family, might be opened up to the public when Charles inherits it.
Wood Farm, the cottage in the grounds where Prince Philip spent his latter years, could be mothballed for future generations.
The Cambridges look set to keep Anmer Hall, the nearby mansion which the Queen gave them after their 2011 wedding and also stand to inherit Llwynywermod, the Welsh home of the Prince of Wales.
Prince Charles and Prince William ‘will NOT use £200m Royal Yacht Britannia for family trips’
Prince Charles, Prince William and other senior members of the Royal family will not be able to use the new Royal Yacht Britannia for family trips following a row in Whitehall over the cost
Prince Charles, Prince William and other senior members of the Royal family will not be able to use the new Royal Yacht Britannia for family trips following a row in Whitehall over the cost.
The national flagship has cost the government £200m, and will be used as a ship rather than a luxury yacht, aimed at boosting Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit vision for the UK as a global trading nation.
But, a palace insider has claimed that the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge have no interest in the ship following a row between number 10 and the Ministry of Defence and the departments of business and trade, with the later reluctant to contribute.
A palace insider claimed that ‘no one’ at the palace wants the vessel.
‘Charles doesn’t want it,’ they told The Sunday Times. ‘William doesn’t want it. He has no interest in naval things at all. All this controversy just puts them off even more.’
It is believed the royals will use the ship to promote trade, but not privately as it previously did with the former Royal Yacht Britannia, decommissioned in 1997.