So much for getting the royal treatment.
More than 100 staff who served King Charles III at his Clarence House residence in London – some of them for decades – could be made redundant now that the new monarch and his wife, Camilla, the Queen consort, are expected to move to Buckingham Palace.
The Guardian reported that workers at the royal residence next to St. James’s Palace were ‘livid’ and ‘shaken’ after receiving a letter from the king’s chief aide on Monday, while the UK was still in a state of mourning official for Queen Elizabeth. II. The notice warned that due to the changing roles of the king and queen consort, “former household activities and operations will no longer be carried out, and housekeeping… at Clarence House will be closed.
“It is therefore anticipated that the need for the posts primarily based at Clarence House, whose work supports these areas, will no longer be required,” he continued.
The notice was said to have been given during the service of thanksgiving for the Queen at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on Monday, prompting backlash on social media.
There are just over 100 full-time staff at Clarence House, according to the Royal Residence’s annual review from earlier this year. Those who were told of possible layoffs on Monday, according to the Guardian report, include staff in private secretaries, finance and communications offices, as well as household staff. The 31 employees of the Cabinet of Private Secretaries include private secretaries, administrators, researchers and equerries. About the same number handle finance in the treasurers’ department and 12 people work in the communications office. The 28 house staff include four chefs, five house managers, three valets and dressers, and several butlers.
By comparison, the latest Sovereign Grants report says Queen Elizabeth II employed 491 full-time staff. She herself suggested that might be a bit too much, reportedly once asking, “Why do I have so many footmen?”
Unnamed sources told the Guardian that many Clarence House staff had assumed they would be incorporated into the King’s new home at Buckingham Palace. “Everyone is absolutely livid, including the private secretaries and the senior team,” an insider told the British newspaper. “All staff have been working late every night since Thursday [when the queen died at age 96], to be met with this. People were visibly shaken. »
The letter said some employees who provide “direct, close and personal support and advice” to Charles and Camilla would remain in their positions. There is no immediate final decision on the other roles yet, pending a consultation period which begins after Queen Elizabeth’s funeral next Monday.
Opinion: To those who hate the British monarchy from afar: first learn how Queen Elizabeth II was forced to work on behalf of the people.
The Royal Family media team was not immediately available for comment. But the Guardian reported that in the letter, the King’s private secretary acknowledged: “I appreciate this is troubling news and wanted to let you know of the support that is available at this stage.
Royal staff who are made redundant will receive help finding new jobs in other British Royal Family households or elsewhere. They will also be offered ‘enhanced’ redundancy pay, which in the UK is usually a payout calculated on the basis of the dismissed worker’s salary and length of service.
A Clarence House spokesman told the Guardian: ‘Following last week’s accession, operations of the former Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s household have ceased and, as required by the law, a consultation process has begun. Our staff have given long and loyal service and, while some layoffs will be inevitable, we are working urgently to identify alternative roles for as many staff as possible.
The future permanent residence of the new king has not yet been announced, British news outlets, including the Guardian and the BBC, noted. There has been speculation that Charles will use Buckingham Palace for audiences and official functions, but he will keep Clarence House as his home in London.
It comes as the country and the world continue to mourn Queen Elizabeth II, whose funeral is scheduled for Monday, September 19. His coffin arrived at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday. She will remain in state in Parliament for four days before Monday’s funeral at Westminster Abbey.