King Charles added two more siblings to the group that already includes his disgraced brother Prince Andrew on Monday by asking the British parliament to change the law to permit them to act on his behalf while he is away.
Charles, who turned 74 on Monday, requested that his younger brother Prince Edward and sister Princess Anne be added to the list of Counsellors of State in a statement read on his behalf in the House of Lords, the upper chamber of parliament.
The Counsellors, who can act on behalf of the monarch in his absence to carry out all but his most key roles such as appointing a new prime minister, are selected from his spouse and the four adults next in line to the throne.
That currently means that in addition to Charles’s wife Camilla and his eldest son and heir Prince William, the grouping comprises the king’s younger son Prince Harry, younger brother Prince Andrew, and Andrew’s eldest daughter Princess Beatrice.
That has led to criticism from some commentators because neither Andrew nor Harry carry out official royal roles anymore.
Andrew was stripped of most of his titles and removed from royal duties due to a scandal over his friendship with the late U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein, and he later settled a U.S. lawsuit in which he was accused of sexual abuse.
Meanwhile, Harry stepped down from royal duties in 2020 and moved to California with his wife Meghan.
“To ensure continued efficiency of public business when I’m unavailable, such as while I’m undertaking official duties overseas, I confirm that I would be most content should parliament see fit for the number of people who may be called upon to act as Counsellors of State … to be increased to include my sister and brother,” the king’s statement said.
The change will require parliament to amend the terms of the Regency Act.