How Prince Andrew can STILL stand in for Queen despite stepping back thanks to royal law

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PRINCE ANDREW could still stand in for the Queen as a Counsellor of State despite having stepped back from public duties several months ago.

Prince Andrew is still listed among the four people who can currently stand-in for the Queen if she can’t carry out her official duties on a temporary basis. On the Royal Family’s official website, royal.uk, he is named after Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry among the people holding the title of Counsellor of State.

Royal.uk explains the role of Counsellor is assigned by law.

It reads: “By law, Counsellors of State include the Sovereign’s spouse and the next four people in the line of succession who are over the age of 21.”

This means Prince Philip retained the role of Counsellor of State between the Queen’s accession to the throne in February 1952 to his death in April.

prince andrew news represent queen Counsellor of State line of succession royal news

Prince Andrew is one of the Counsellors of State (Image: GETTY)

prince andrew news represent queen Counsellor of State line of succession royal news

Prince Andrew stepped back from public duties in November 2019 (Image: GETTY)

Prince Charles is the heir to the throne and first-in-line to inherit the Crown after the end of the Queen’s reign.

His firstborn Prince William is second-in-line, followed by his three children, all aged under 21.

Therefore, Prince Harry, sixth-in-line to the throne, is counted as the third Counsellor of State, followed by Prince Andrew, who became ninth-in-line to the throne following the birth of Archie Harrison in May 2019 and Lilibet Diana in June 2021.

When Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, three, reach the age of 21, they will become the next Counsellors of State and will replace the Dukes of Sussex and York.

prince andrew news represent queen Counsellor of State line of succession royal news

Prince Andrew speaking to the press in April, following the death of Prince Philip (Image: GETTY)

This extraordinary move put his brother King George VI on the throne and positioned the then Princess Elizabeth as the next Queen of the country.

The website continued: “Shortly after George VI came to the throne in 1936, a new Regency Act was passed which provided a rule for all future reigns.

“It was at this time that the new office of Counsellor of State was created to cover short term absences where a regency would be unnecessary.”

prince andrew news represent queen Counsellor of State line of succession royal news

Prince William is second-in-line to the throne (Image: GETTY)

prince andrew news represent queen Counsellor of State line of succession royal news

Prince Andrew is the Queen’s second son (Image: GETTY)

Prior to 1937, royal.uk also said, Regency Acts were drafted and passed only in necessity.

Counsellors of State can carry out most of the sovereign’s duties, including “attending Privy Council meetings, signing routine documents and receiving the credentials of new ambassadors to the United Kingdom”.

However, royal.uk states there are some “core constitutional functions” that may not be delegated to Counsellors of State, including appointing a Prime Minister, creating peers, and Commonwealth matters.

Normally, Counsellors can’t dissolve Parliament, unless Her Majesty expressly instructs them.

In August, it emerged one of the accusers of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Virginia Giuffre, filed a civil lawsuit in New York claiming Prince Andrew had abused her on three occasions in 2001 – when she was under the age of 18.

The Duke of York has repeatedly denied any involvement with Ms Giuffre.

Prince Andrew spoke about his association with Epstein in a Newsnight special with Emily Maitlis aired in November 2019.

During the interview, he was asked about Ms Giuffre’s allegations, to which he replied: “I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened.”

prince andrew news represent queen Counsellor of State line of succession royal news

Prince Charles will become King at the end of the Queen’s reign (Image: GETTY)

Following the Newsnight programme, the Duke of York faced backlash for his association with Epstein and was accused by critics of failing to show sympathy to the tycoon’s victims.

A few days later, he announced he was stepping back from royal duties for the “foreseeable future”.

In a statement, he said to “unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein” and said he deeply sympathised with Epstein’s victims.

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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