Who’s who in King Charles III’s inner circle?

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The new King will look to a tight-knit inner circle of trusted aides, some by his side for decades, as he begins his first days and weeks as the nation’s sovereign.   

The 73-year-old monarch was formally proclaimed in a historic ceremony at St James’s Palace in London on Saturday, following the Queen’s death on Thursday at Balmoral at the age of 96.  

As the world looked on, the King made a historic and personal tribute to his ‘dear mama’ before vowing to uphold the British constitution.

Alongside the support of Queen Consort Camilla, who the King spoke affectionately of in his speech, Charles is now likely to begin assigning new roles to established key figures in his team.

It’s thought some of the Queen’s long-standing aides, faithful to the late Monarch until her finals hours, will be given different roles or retire from their current positions. 

Staff who work for the Queen typically would have only a month’s notice after the end of her reign before they would either be redeployed to another Royal household or look for alternative employment.

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King Charles III was formally proclaimed in a historic ceremony at St James’s Palace in London on Saturday, following Queen’s death on Thursday at Balmoral (Charles and Camilla pictured at Buckingham Palace on Friday)

King Charles III signing the Proclamation at St James's Palace in London yesterday morning during the historic ceremony; it's thought the King will elevate staff who have worked closely with him in recent years to new roles

King Charles III signing the Proclamation at St James’s Palace in London yesterday morning during the historic ceremony; it’s thought the King will elevate staff who have worked closely with him in recent years to new roles

The Prince of Wales, the Queen, King Charles III and Lord President of the Council Penny Mordaunt during the Accession Council at St James's Palace

The Prince of Wales, the Queen, King Charles III and Lord President of the Council Penny Mordaunt during the Accession Council at St James’s Palace

IN? CHARLES’ CURRENT STAFF   

THE KING’S PRIVATE SECRETARY: SIR CLIVE ALDERTON 

A distinguished career as a diplomat saw Sir Clive Alderton, 55, take on the role of deputy Private Secretary to then Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in 2006 - before becoming Charles¿ Principal Private Secretary in 2015

A distinguished career as a diplomat saw Sir Clive Alderton, 55, take on the role of deputy Private Secretary to then Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in 2006 – before becoming Charles’ Principal Private Secretary in 2015

Charles right-hand man, Sir Clive Alderton, 55, was seen whispering to the King at the proclamation ceremony on Saturday, ensuring the historic moment ran as smooth as clockwork. 

A former diplomat, Sir Clive has worked for Clarence House since 2006 and is likely to remain a key figure in the new royal household. 

The trusted courtier once held a Foreign Office role, living in various countries at the start of his career including Singapore, Poland and France. 

In 2006, Sir Clive landed the role of deputy Private Secretary to then Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, and, promoted to Private Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to their Royal Highnesses three years later, becoming ambassador to Mauritania and Morocco. 

Since 2015, when he became Charles’ Principal Private Secretary, he’s been a constant by the new King’s side – and is likely to remain in post now Charles is officially sovereign. 

MASTER OF THE HOUSEHOLD: PETER ST CLAIRE-ERSKINE 

Eton-educated Peter St Clair-Erskine, the 7th Earl of Rosslyn, worked as head of royalty protection for more than ten years before  becoming master of the household

Eton-educated Peter St Clair-Erskine, the 7th Earl of Rosslyn, worked as head of royalty protection for more than ten years before  becoming master of the household

Confidante: The King and the Earl of Rosslyn pictured in conversation at Royal Ascot in June

Confidante: The King and the Earl of Rosslyn pictured in conversation at Royal Ascot in June

Another key player at the Accession Council ceremony on Saturday was Peter St Clair-Erskine, officially the 7th Earl of Rosslyn and also Peter Loughborough. 

St Clair-Erskine has worked for the King and Queen Consort since 2014, as master of the King’s household at Clarence House, and is charged with ensuring that the couple’s public life runs smoothly. 

Prior to his role of master of the household, Eton-educated St Clair-Erskine worked as head of royalty protection for more than ten years. 

St Clair-Erskine’s daughter, Lady Alice St Clair Erskine, has a blossoming acting career. 

SOPHIE DENSHAM: AIDE TO CAMILLA 

Long-term courtier: Sophie Densham has been Private Secretary to Camilla, Queen Consort for more than 12 years (Pictured in Bath in 2010)

Long-term courtier: Sophie Densham has been Private Secretary to Camilla, Queen Consort for more than 12 years (Pictured in Bath in 2010)

Considered a safe pair of hands and a key player in the tight-knit group of aides likely to continue to support the new King and Queen Consort, Sophie Densham has been Camilla’s Private Secretary for over a decade.

Like her peers in the current royal household, Densham was present at yesterday’s proclamation ceremony which saw her employer become Queen Consort. 

JEAN CHRISTOPHE GRAY: WILLIAM’S CLOSEST AIDE

Supporting the new Prince and Princess of Wales is former Treasury figure Jean-Christophe Gray, who was appointed William's private secretary in 2021

Supporting the new Prince and Princess of Wales is former Treasury figure Jean-Christophe Gray, who was appointed William’s private secretary in 2021

David Cameron’s former spokesman remains the closest aide to the new Prince and Princess of Wales and is likely to remain a key figure in the extended Team Charles.

Jean-Christophe Gray came from the Government’s Treasury department to the royal household in 2021, after working alongside Mr Cameron and George Osborne during the austerity years.

He brought a reputation as Whitehall’s ‘most assiduous bean counter’, The Sunday Times reported at the time. 

In 2012, Gray left a position as head of general expenditure policy with the Treasury to join the communications team at Downing Street, becoming then-prime minister Mr Cameron’s official spokesman.

OUT? THE QUEEN’S TRUSTED COURTIERS 

THE LATE QUEEN’S PRIVATE SECRETARY: SIR EDWARD YOUNG 

Retirement? Sir Edward Young was  private secretary to The Queen until her death; it emerged earlier this year that Prince Harry had a strained relationship with the late Queen's aide - with tensions simmering over Harry's security arrangements in the UK

Retirement? Sir Edward Young was  private secretary to The Queen until her death; it emerged earlier this year that Prince Harry had a strained relationship with the late Queen’s aide – with tensions simmering over Harry’s security arrangements in the UK

Sir Edward Young was private secretary to The Queen until her death at Balmoral on Thursday. It’s now thought he will either retire from the royal household or 

A former Barclays executive, his main role was as the main channel of communication between the monarch and the UK government, as well as those in the Commonwealth.

A historic position, first created in 1805, it was held by Sir Edward since 2019.

Sir Edward took over the role from Lord Christopher Geidt. Alongside holding senior roles at Barclays, Sir Edward also served as an adviser to then-Tory Leader of the Opposition, William Hague, and as a communications chief for ITV.

Earlier this year, it emerged that Prince Harry had a strained relationship with the late Queen’s aide.

‘Significant tensions’ are said to have existed between the Duke of Sussex and Sir Edward, according to the prince’s legal team.

The pair’s relationship was brought to light at the High Court as part of Prince Harry’s legal battle with the Home Office over its decision to cut his UK police protection.

HER MAJESTY’S CLOSEST CONFIDANTE: ANGELA KELLY 

Angela Kelly, a close confidante of the Queen, is set to be allowed to stay on in her grace-and-favour home at Windsor ¿ thanks to the Queen herself. Pictured receiving her RVO in 2012

Angela Kelly, a close confidante of the Queen, is set to be allowed to stay on in her grace-and-favour home at Windsor – thanks to the Queen herself. Pictured receiving her RVO in 2012

Angela Kelly, was one of the Queen’s most trusted confidantes – but will be allowed to stay on in her grace-and-favour home at Windsor – thanks to the Queen herself.

Angela Kelly, a docker’s daughter from Liverpool, began work as an Assistant Dresser at the Royal Household before becoming indispensable to the Monarch.

Her reward was a grace-and-favour home a short walk from Windsor Castle.

And now it seems that the Queen had given her authority for Ms Kelly to stay in her grace-and-favour home after her death.

So favoured was she by the late Monarch that Ms Kelly was also granted extraordinary permission to secure a three-book deal. Two of those memoirs have been published and another is set to be released.

An insider said: ‘The Queen was very clear that she was close to Angela and wanted to look after her people.’

Ms Kelly who is said to want to spend some time in America now the Queen has died, was originally hired for her fashion expertise. But she soon developed a close bond with the Monarch.

As the Queen’s mobility failed, Palace sources say that Ms Kelly could often be found sitting with the Queen, making her laugh and filling Her Majesty in on the latest plot twists of television soap operas.

Latterly, as the Queen’s number of public appearances decreased in line with her ability to move around in comfort, it was Ms Kelly who sat with the Queen at Windsor.

King Charles III’s declaration in full 

The Prince of Wales, the Queen, King Charles III and Lord President of the Council Penny Mordaunt during the Accession Council at St James's Palace

The Prince of Wales, the Queen, King Charles III and Lord President of the Council Penny Mordaunt during the Accession Council at St James’s Palace

My Lords, Ladies, and Gentlemen.

It is my most sorrowful duty to announce to you the death of my beloved Mother, The Queen.

I know how deeply you, the entire Nation – and I think I may say the whole world – sympathise with me in the irreparable loss we have all suffered.

It is the greatest consolation to me to know of the sympathy expressed by so many to my Sister and Brothers and that such overwhelming affection and support should be extended to our whole family in our loss.

To all of us as a family, as to this kingdom and the wider family of nations of which it is a part, my Mother gave an example of lifelong love and of selfless service.

My Mother’s reign was unequalled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion. Even as we grieve, we give thanks for this most faithful life.

I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of Sovereignty which have now passed to me. In taking up these responsibilities, I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set in upholding constitutional government and to seek the peace, harmony and prosperity of the peoples of these Islands and of the Commonwealth Realms and Territories throughout the world.

In this purpose, I know that I shall be upheld by the affection and loyalty of the peoples whose Sovereign I have been called upon to be, and that in the discharge of these duties I will be guided by the counsel of their elected parliaments. In all this, I am profoundly encouraged by the constant support of my beloved wife.

I take this opportunity to confirm my willingness and intention to continue the tradition of surrendering the hereditary revenues, including the Crown Estate, to My Government for the benefit of all, in return for the Sovereign Grant, which supports My official duties as Head of State and Head of Nation.

And in carrying out the heavy task that has been laid upon me, and to which I now dedicate what remains to me of my life, I pray for the guidance and help of Almighty God.

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