When social laws are hasty, even the royal mourning can’t do anything about it. A hundred employees of Clarence House, which remains to this day the home of King Charles III and his wife Camilla, have already received their notice of possible redundancy.
Monday, while a ceremony in memory of Queen Elizabeth II was taking place in St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh (Scotland), according to The Guardian, Charles’s private secretaries, finance office, communications team and house staff received a letter from Sir Clive Alderton, the King’s chief adviser, telling them that changes were coming, which for some may lead to a dismissal. “The change in role of our principals will also mean a change for our house… The portfolio of work previously undertaken in this house supporting the personal interests of the former Prince of Wales, former activities and maintenance operations will no longer be carried out . (…) It is therefore expected that the positions mainly based at Clarence House, whose work supports these areas, will no longer be necessary. “, he wrote. And to add: “I understand that this is destabilizing news and I wanted to inform you of the support that is available at this stage”.
A spokesperson for Clarence House confirmed the information: after the installation of Prince Charles as king, “The activities of the household of the former Prince of Wales and the former Duchess of Cornwall have ceased and, as required by law, a consultation process has begun. Our staff have given long and loyal service and, although some redundancies are inevitable, we are working urgently to identify alternative roles for as many employees as possible”.
“Everyone is absolutely furious”
Stupor among the staff, who since the death of the sovereign on Thursday evening, have been working night and day to guarantee good conditions for the royal succession. Some have been in the service of Prince Charles for many years. “Everyone is absolutely furious, including the private secretaries and the management team. All staff have been working late every night since Thursday, only to be confronted with this. People were visibly shaken by this news,” a staff member told the British daily.
As required by law, a period of consultation must open with the staff, after the state funeral of the monarch on Monday. Employees will either be offered alternative employment in one of the Royal Households or assistance in finding employment elsewhere, with “enhanced” severance pay over the legal minimum. The law provides that this indemnity, like the notice, is proportional to the seniority of the employee.
However, it is still unknown where the king and queen consort will live. Clarence House could remain the couple’s London home, Buckingham and its daunting renovations being reserved for the official obligations of the monarchy. Charles moved to this house near Buckingham in 2003, after the death of the Queen Mother, who had occupied it since 1953. Elizabeth II lived in Windsor, 35 km west of the capital, where just moved in Prince William and his wife Kate.
So far, according to the annual inventory, Charles’ private offices have employed the equivalent of 101 full-time people. Four times less than the queen who employed 491 people full time.
The King and Queen Consort also have a residence at Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate, Highgrove in Gloucestershire, and Llwynywermod, a cottage in Wales. Charles should also inherit Balmoral Castle, where did the queen dieand that of Sandringham, which traditionally hosts the end of year celebrations of the royal family.