Why is Princess Beatrice not a working UK royal? Her role explained

Ella Kipling September 20, 2022
Why is Princess Beatrice not a working UK royal? Her role explained
Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images

As the nation mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II, a new monarch, King Charles III, will be taking to the throne.

This marks the start of changes within the Royal Family, as the line of succession has changed. First in line to the throne is now Prince William, followed by his three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Then is the Duke of Sussex (Prince Harry), followed by his children Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, and Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.

After that is The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, and his daughter Princess Beatrice, who is now ninth in line to the throne.

Photo by Indigo/Getty Images

Princess Beatrice becomes a Counsellor of the State

Following the Queen’s death, Princess Beatrice was promoted to be one of four Counsellors of State. The four people who fill these roles include the spouse of the sovereign (in this case, Camilla), and the next four people in the line of succession who are over the age of 21.

Therefore, current Counsellors of State include Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew, and Andrew’s eldest daughter, Princess Beatrice.

In the event that The King cannot undertake his official duties on a temporary basis (such as due to illness or absence abroad), two or more of the Counsellors of State are appointed by Letters Patent to act in His Majesty’s place.

According to Royal.UK, the Counsellors of State are authorized to carry out most of the official duties of the Sovereign. This includes, for example, attending Privy Council meetings, signing routine documents and receiving the credentials of new ambassadors to the United Kingdom.

Why is Princess Beatrice not a working royal?

It is believed that Princess Beatrice is not a working royal due to King Charles’ desire to slim down the monarchy during his mother’s reign so it would be reduced to a core group by the time he took to the throne.

Royal historian Marlene Koenig suggested that this decision was, in part, due to the scandals in the 1980s, including the divorces of both Charles and Andrew. She told Town and Country:

“The sins of the parents have rested on the children. I do believe that if their parents had never gotten divorced and were in a happily married state to this day, Beatrice and Eugenie would be working.”

Who are the working royals?

The working royals are The King and The Queen Consort, Prince William and Princess Kate (the Prince and Princess of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge), and Princess Anne (The Princess Royal).

Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones (The Count and Countess of Wessex) are also working royals, as are The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester (Prince Richard and Birgitte), The Queen’s first cousin.

Prince Harry was once a working royal, but no longer is after stepping down as a senior member of the Royal Family.

Prince Andrew also stepped down as a working royal, back in 2019. This followed a Newsnight interview about allegations that he had sexually assaulted Virginia Giuffre. He has denied the allegations. In February 2022, Prince Andrew paid an undisclosed sum to settle the civil sexual assault case that Ms Guiffre brought against him in the US.

Why did Beatrice automatically become a Princess?

The 1917 Letters Patent issued by King George V states that the only members of the Royal Family entitled to Prince or Princess titles are the children of the Sovereign and the grandchildren through their sons.

This, therefore, means that Beatrice and Eugenie were automatically given Princess titles as they are the children of Prince Andrew, the Queen’s son.

However, Prince Edward’s children do not have Prince and Princess titles. His wife, The Countess of Wessex, told The Times:

“We try to bring them up with the understanding they are very likely to have to work for a living,” she adds. “Hence we made the decision not to use HRH titles. They have them and can decide to use them from 18, but I think it’s highly unlikely.”

Princess Anne’s children do not have royal titles either. However, Princess Anne was reportedly given the choice to give her children titles. In 2015, Zara Tindall told The Times: “I’m very lucky that both my parents decided to not use the title and we grew up and did all the things that gave us the opportunity to do.”

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Ella is the Head of Content at Freshered and also works a freelance journalist at GRV Media, writing for HITC and Reality Titbit. Her interests lie in news and anything culture related including entertainment, musicals, books, and social media. Ella is also a big supporter of student media and writes for her university’s newspaper as well as hosting her own show on the radio station.