Queen’s Speech: ‘Significant’ for Prince Charles to step in says Palmer

Instead, the Queen is harnessing modern technology to continue her duties. As a result of weakened health in recent months, Her Majesty’s current work dynamic has changed to prioritise virtual events with senior royals including Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne stepping up at other engagements.

Do you support the Queen as a ‘Zoom monarch’?

The Queen has been dubbed a ‘Zoom monarch’ as she continues to fulfil her constitutional duties via video conferencing.

Royal sources have said that the 96-year-old monarch’s diary remains busy, completing various engagements on top of her routine “red box” work.

The Queen has been praised for her work ethic and experts believe despite her “episodic mobility problems”, she will continue on.

In a speech to the Commonwealth on her 21st birthday in 1947, then Princess Elizabeth pledged she would dedicate her “whole life whether it be long or short” to duty.

Queen on video chat

Do you support the Queen as a ‘Zoom monarch’? (Image: Getty)

The Queen carries out between two and seven formal engagements each week with many of these now undertaken through teleconferencing.

In a three-week period last month, the Queen held seven “Zoom” audiences with arriving and departing ambassadors, the Privy Council and even opened a new unit bearing her name at the Royal London Hospital.

One royal aide said that virtual systems were implemented to protect the Queen during the pandemic and many encounters, including her weekly meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, were simply extended “to accommodate the realities of the present situation”.

Last year, the Queen conducted 118 of her 192 engagements – nearly two thirds – virtually and it is thought that this ratio is likely to remain, or even increase.

However, royal expert and author Robert Jobson said: “With all respect to Her Majesty, you can’t really be a Zoom monarch.

“There are roles you have to play. You have to be seen to be believed.”

Speaking on Palace Confidential, he said it is time for Charles, 73, to be named Prince Regent – a move that would formalise a natural shift in him taking over his 96-year-old mother’s duties.

So what do YOU think? Do you support the Queen as a ‘Zoom monarch’? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Queen Elizabeth II

Should the UK have a hybrid monarchy? (Image: Getty)

Should the UK have a hybrid monarchy?

Prince Charles and Prince William have increasingly been deputising for the Queen at engagements.

They took her place at the State Opening of Parliament earlier this week.

Their attendance was constitutionally under their role as Counsellors of State as two of the four members of the Royal Family authorised to act formally on behalf of the monarch.

Charles and William alongside Prince Harry and Prince Andrew wield independent authority and are appointed on a case-by-case basis to fulfil the Queen’s responsibilities.

Experts suggest that this sort of hybrid monarchy is a logical solution to the challenges of the Queen’s health.

Vernon Bogdanor, professor of Government at King’s College London and a leading constitutional expert, told i news that the arrangement for the Queen’s Speech exemplified how the duties of the monarch could be delegated while she retains her core constitutional duties.

He said: “There is scope for a large amount of delegation of the monarch’s functions. But this cannot include her constitutional duties – for example, the right to question or be consulted on government policy, or the appointment of governors general to the Commonwealth nations.

“These functions cannot be delegated, but many of the ceremonial tasks can.”

Prince Charles at State Opening of Parliament

Prince Charles took his mother’s place at the State Opening of Parliament earlier this week (Image: Getty)

He added: “We do not have a de facto regency… The Counsellors of State, unlike the Regent, have no decision-making powers.

“In particular, they cannot act on any matter on which the sovereign has the right to question government policy or to make suggestions about it.

“This is symbolised by the fact that they can never act singly, but must always act as at least two people out of the four.”

There are also increasing calls for a fifth counsellor to be appointed – potentially Prince Edward or Princess Anne.

So what do YOU think? Should the UK have a hybrid monarchy? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Prince Charles: A life in pictures

Prince Charles: A life in pictures (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)

Should Prince Charles become regent?

Prince Charles could be given the responsibility to carry out the Queen’s duties by being named as Prince Regent under the Regency Act.

The Regency Act 1937 states that the monarch’s duties will be carried out by a regent if the monarch is declared to be “by reason of infirmity of mind or body” incapable of performing royal functions, or if there is “evidence that the Sovereign is for some definite cause not available for the performance of those functions”.

Charles has already taken the place of his mother in her absence at events in the past year.

Dr Ed Owens, royal historian and author of The Family Firm, told i news last month:“Clearly, Elizabeth II’s health is steadily deteriorating and it sounds like her recent Covid infection has not helped matters.

“Therefore it is only natural that more and more of her work is transferred to her son and heir, Prince Charles, who has, over the course of the last five years or so, essentially become an unofficial regent.”

So what do YOU think? Should Prince Charles become regent? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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