Charles try­ing to usurp the Queen? No way, say aides

The Mail on Sunday - - Focus - By Robert Job­son

RE­PORTS that the Prince of Wales is try­ing to usurp the Queen or de­mand a more prom­i­nent role for him­self in Royal af­fairs were cat­e­gor­i­cally de­nied last night by se­nior Palace sources.

The claims, aired last week, con­tro­ver­sially sug­gested that the heir to the throne had been work­ing to in­crease his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties by the time he reaches his land­mark 70th birth­day next year, a move said to be known as Project 70.

But well-placed sources have told The Mail on Sun­day that the so­called project is ‘fan­tasy’.

One said: ‘ This is not the case. There is no such project. The Prince be­lieves ev­ery­thing he does is rep­re­sent­ing Her Majesty any­way. He ex­ists to serve. He is there to sup­port her in ev­ery­thing she does.’

Claims that Charles had joined his younger brother An­drew in work­ing to oust the Queen’s Pri­vate Sec­re­tary, Sir Christo­pher Geidt, have also been vig­or­ously dis­missed.

The news of Sir Christo­pher’s de­par­ture – re­vealed by The Mail on Sun­day in July – came as a shock to Royal watch­ers and led to a dra­matic shake-up of courtiers. Other de­par­tures have been an­nounced or are ex­pected, with one in­sider even say­ing last month: ‘You could de­scribe it as a right Royal sham­bles.’

Few ob­servers doubt there are ten­sions be­tween the three main Royal house­holds: Kens­ing­ton Palace, home to the young Roy­als, Clarence House, home to Prince Charles, and Buck­ing­ham Palace.

But an un­prece­dented state­ment, is­sued in an ap­par­ent at­tempt to quell spec­u­la­tion about any strain, seems to have suc­ceeded only in pour­ing fuel on the fire – be­cause it was is­sued on be­half of all three, and not the Queen’s alone, as is nor­mally the case.

‘Re­cent years have seen an ever closer work­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween all the dif­fer­ent Royal house­holds,’ it said. ‘The Prince of Wales and the en­tire Royal Fam­ily are com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing the Queen.’

With the Duke of Ed­in­burgh hav­ing taken a back seat at the age of 96, the Queen is these days said to see Charles as her most trusted ad­viser.

One ob­server said: ‘This is a monar­chy in tran­si­tion – poised and ready for a change of man­age­ment. But when, how and in­deed if that hap­pens will de­pend wholly on the Queen.’

‘Monar­chy ready for a change of man­age­ment’

Ex­o­dus of aides in palace shake-up has turned into ‘royal sham­bles’ Charles with the Queen, and, left, MoS re­ports of up­heaval among Royal aides ‘SUP­PORT’:

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