Royal households issue joint statement in response to media report of power struggle involving monarchs private secretary
Prince Charles is committed to supporting the Queen, the royal family has said, in response to a report of an internal rift between Buckingham Palace and the heir to the throne.
The three royal households – Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace – released a rare joint statement following claims in The Times of a power fight involving Sir Christopher Geidt, the Queen’s long-serving private secretary.
It was confirmed in the summer that Geidt, whose role is to act as the channel of contacts between the Queen and Downing Street, was due to step down next month after a decade’s service.
Samantha Cohen, the third highest-ranking consultant in the Queen’s private office, has also resigned, reportedly in solidarity with Geidt. She will, however, stay in post until April after the Commonwealth Games are held in Australia.
Unnamed sources said Geidt’s departure has been hastened following complaints from the prince and the Duke of York about the transition of power from the Queen to her heir.
As reported in the Times, sources said that Geidt’s” unprecedented deposing” was the climax of growing anxiety among the prince’s staff to accelerate plans to involve Charles in more high-profile royal events, something that Buckingham Palace may have resisted.
Charles’ greater involvement in country occasions during Easter and Commonwealth events would act” to show that he is the king in awaiting”, the source told the Times.
Clarence House, Charles’ official residence, has denied the existence of Project 70- the name of the alleged plan to increase Charles’ country responsibilities ahead of his 70 th birthday. It holds that the prince” has never demanded a more prominent role for himself”, according to the Times.
Charles has been heir to the throne since his mother became Queen in 1952. His 65 -year wait is the longest of any heir-apparent and should he become monarch he will be oldest person to be crowned monarch.
The royal households said:” While we never comment on the confidential employment details of individuals, it was previously announced in July that Sir Christopher Geidt is stepping down after 10 years as private secretary.
” At the time of the announcement, the lord chamberlain paid tribute to the major contribution make use of Sir Christopher who, in turn, commended the support offered to Her Majesty by other members of the royal family.
” Indeed, recent years have ensure an ever-closer working relationship between all the different royal households and their respective teams.
” The Prince of Wales and the entire royal family are committed to supporting the Queen in whatever route they can at Her Majesty’s request.
” Beyond that, we are not going to engage with a narrative based on rumour from unnamed sources .”
Geidt, who also served as private secretary to the UN secretary general’s special envoy to the Balkans, Carl Bildt, will be succeeded by the Queen’s deputy private secretary, Edward Young, who was previously an advisor to former Tory leader William Hague.
Geidt was knighted under the Royal Victorian Order for service to the monarchy, and was later made a knight commander of the Order of the Bath for public service.
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