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King Charles moves to allow Princess Anne and Prince Edward to be stand-ins for him

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King Charles is moving to make his sister, Princess Anne, and his brother, Prince Edward, eligible to be stand-ins for the king. Right now, four senior royals and Camilla, the Queen Consort, can fill in for the monarch, but the king is hoping to amend the list since two people on it are no longer working as senior royals. 

Under the Regency Act, the sovereign's spouse and the first four adult royals in line to the throne are Counsellors of the State, meaning they can assume most of the sovereign's duties, if needed, according to the royal family. 

The current list of counsellors is: Charles' wife, Camilla, Queen Consort; his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry; his brother, Prince Andrew; and his niece, Princess Beatrice.

Charles made the move to include his younger sister and brother because both Harry and Andrew have left their roles as senior royals.

From left: Britain's King Charles III; Princess Anne; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex at the funeral of their mother, Queen Elizabeth II, at Westminster Abbey in London on September 19, 2022. MARC ASPLAND/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, moved to California in 2020. Andrew withdrew from royal duties in the wake of a sex abuse lawsuit, which he settled. Andrew was also linked to convicted sex-offender Jeffery Epstein. 

Charles presented the amendment to the Regency Act so that he could expand the list without having to remove Harry and Andrew, according to BBC.

If the amendment is approved, the list of Counsellors of the State would still include Harry and Andrew, as well as Princess Anne and Prince Edward, who have served as counsellors before they were surpassed in the order of succession to the throne. 

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with their family in Buckingham Palace on November 20, 1972, on the occasion of the royal couple's silver wedding anniversary. From left: Princess Charles, Prince Edward, the queen, Prince Philip, Prince Andrew, and Princess Anne. Also pictured, with its back to the camera, is one of the royal dogs, Pickees.  AP Photo

Prince Williams' children are not on the list — even though they are further in line to the throne than Harry, Andrew, Beatrice, Anne and Edward — because the rules state the royals in this position must be over 21. 

The proposal passed in the U.K. parliament's House of Commons. It is now being discussed in the second house of Parliament, the House of Lords, where Lord Parker of Minsmere on Monday delivered a statement on King Charles' behalf. He said adding the extra counsellors would "ensure continued efficiency of public business when I'm unavailable, such as while I'm undertaking official duties overseas," according to BBC News. 

The issue was raised in the House of Lords last month, with a member asking how Andrew and Harry could be stand-ins for the king when one had "left public life" and the other had "left the country," BBC reports. 

Charles assumed his role as King when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, died in September. The queen had four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward. Although Anne is older than two of her brothers, she is farther down the line of succession because of an old law that allowed men to skip over women in the line. 

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