prince charles

Why Prince Charles will have fewer working royals when he's King

The Prince of Wales is the longest-serving heir to the throne

When Prince Charles accedes to the throne, he will no doubt wish to continue many royal traditions, but he's expected to make some changes to the monarchy as well.

MORE: Prince Charles' historic outing alongside William has royal fans saying the same thing

One of the differences between himself and his mother the Queen will be the number of senior royal family members he can call on to represent him at official events.

Partly, this will be intentional: the Prince has long been rumoured to favour a 'slimmed down' monarchy. Part of the change, however, will be circumstantial, with fewer people likely to be available to carry out royal duties.

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WATCH: Prince Charles and Prince William step in for the Queen at State Opening of Parliament

In the past, the Queen could not only rely on her eldest son and husband, the late Prince Philip but also Prince Andrew, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have all since stood back as senior working royals.

MORE: Duchess Camilla reveals one of her favourite features at home with Prince Charles

READ: Prince Charles' revolutionary changes since taking control of the Queen's estate

Charles' main representatives are expected to be his wife Camilla, who will receive the title Queen Consort, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Anne, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

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Charles and Camilla represented the Queen on Maundy Thursday

While Prince George will of course one day become a senior working royal, he won't turn 18 until 2031.

During the Queen's illness last November, she missed some public engagements and was represented instead by her cousins the Duke of Kent and his sister Princess Alexandra and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, who aren't senior royals but kindly stepped in to support Her Majesty.

However, as they are older than Charles, they may be less able to represent him in the future.

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The Prince stood in for the Queen at this week's State Opening of Parliament

The heir to the throne was joined by Prince William earlier on Tuesday at the State Opening of Parliament, representing the Queen at the important occasion for the first time.

Charles delivered his mother's speech to the nation, outlining the government's legislative programme for the forthcoming parliamentary session, after the Queen reluctantly pulled out of her appearance on Monday evening.

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