Princess Beatrice May Become “Acting Monarch” Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Princess Beatrice

Thousands of people have been infected and hundreds have died across the world because of COVID-19. The United Kingdom and other countries all over the globe are in chaos amid the coronavirus pandemic. With the elderly seemingly more at risk of catching the virus, the UK government has come up with plans to ask all those over the age of 70 to self-quarantine.

When this happens, the Queen may be forced to temporarily vacate her constitutional duties. Who will fill in for Her Majesty if that happens?

What Happens If the Queen Needs To Self Quarantine?

In other European countries, another member of the Royal Family becomes regent in case the monarch is sick or unavailable for some reason. In the United Kingdom, high ranking members of the Royal Family will take over and they are called Counsellors of the State.

Who Are The Counsellors of the State?

The Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of York is the current Counsellors of the State. At least two Counsellors of State need to be present at one time. These counselors can sign documents on behalf of the monarch, attend meetings and other functions of the Crown. However, there’s a limit to what they can do.

Invoking The Regency Act 1937

However, the Regency Act 1937 could be forced to create a sixth councilor. The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, is 71 years old and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip is 98 years old. The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, and the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, are no longer working royals but they can still act as Counsellors of State. But if they, the move will most likely create a ruckus.

Therefore, it’ll only be Prince William who’s a working royal and out of self-isolation. If two Counsellors are needed and only one is available, the Parliament may be forced to change the Regency Act. In this scenario, Princess Beatrice, who’s ninth in line to the throne, could be chosen to become one of the Counsellors of the State.

This needs to be done since the UK Government could fall apart if the Queen, as well as her Counsellors, are unavailable. There has to be someone who will carry out the sovereign’s duties. In case the Regency Act needs to be invoked, the Duke of York will most likely step up. Meanwhile, Royal historian Marlene Koenig believes that if there is a need for an extra Counsellor of State, it’s unlikely for Princess Beatrice to be appointed.

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