The ten-day period of mourning after the death of Elizabeth II was accompanied by a series of restrictions, cancellations, postponements. That’s it prohibited from traveling except on foot within the perimeter of Buckingham Palace; the british cycling federation there “recommended” – before backpedaling – not using a bicycle during the Queen’s funeral. Charles III, for his part, seems to have decided not to put on the list of temporary restrictions one of his rights as an employer: the ability to fire employees of the royal family.
The daily The Guardian It was reported on Tuesday September 13 that several staff at Clarence House, the former official residence of Charles III in London, received a letter on Monday from Sir Clive Alderton, the King’s chief adviser, informing the their potential removal, while Scotland paid their last respects to the Queen of St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh. A source told the Guardian that “Everybody’s totally pissed off” and that some are “obviously shaken” by this decision.
“Following the accession to the throne last week, the former Prince of Wales and the former Duchess of Cornwall’s household operations ceased and, as required by law, a consultation process began.a spokesman for Clarence House confirmed to the BBC. Our staff have provided a long and loyal service and, although some redundancies are inevitable, we are working quickly to identify alternative roles for as many staff as possible. »
The private secretaries, finance office, the communication group are among the recipients of this notice. Some have worked there for decades. According to its activity report, Clarence House employs 101 full-time equivalents.
Buckingham Palace teams are under threat
According to Times, it wasn’t just Clarence House employees who were threatened. A former aide, who did not want to be named, said Buckingham Palace employees knew that if the Queen died their professional status would change. He pointed to that “every house [royale] have their own high-level advisers and they will be redundant when the sovereign is gone”.
Clarence House employees are not represented by a recognized union, says the Guardian. But that didn’t stop the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) – a union whose members mostly work in British government departments and other public bodies – from reacting. “Clarence House’s decision to announce the redundancies during the mourning period is heartless, reacted in a press release that Mark Serwotka, the general secretary of the PCS union. SIf the changes are expected as roles change within the royal family, the scale and speed with which they are announced is inexcusable. “Especially because we don’t know what staff the future Prince of Wales and his family will need”added Mr. Serwotka, as quoted by the BBC.
A procedure provided in the employment contract
Grant Harrold, a former butler to King Charles III when he was Prince of Wales, told the BBC the announcement was not surprising: “When I came in [dans la maison du prince], I am fully aware that if the Queen dies I will be fired because my boss is no longer the Prince of Wales. »
On Twitter, a user who presented himself as a former member of the royal household posted a photo of his employment contract and the conditions under which it ends. It is written there: “All contracts expire six months after the death of the king, unless they are renewed by his successor. »
His was my contract when I joined the royal household and clearly indicated what would happen wrt staff upon the death of… https://t.co/p44UllCRs0
The BBC recalled that when the Queen Mother – Queen Elizabeth, mother of Elizabeth II, died in 2002 – and the Duke of Edinburgh – Elizabeth II’s husband, Philip, in April 2021 – their homes were closed. Grant Harrold, who works at Highgrove House, Charles’ country home in Gloucestershire, nevertheless seems optimistic about public television: “The good thing is that I know they will do everything possible to ensure that people are put in positions if possible. »
In his letter, Sir Clive Alderton pointed out that some staff had given “direct, close and personal support and advice” Charles and Camilla will remain in office. Dismissed personnel should be offered the possibility to find another job in other royal houses. They will also be given severance pay “enhanced”. In addition, no final decision has been made: the period of consultation with the personnel concerned will begin after the funeral, which will take place on Monday, September 19.
Known for his “green” streak, King Charles III had to work hard on social issues. Finally, there is no sign that Charles and Camilla intend to move into Buckingham Palace: the building is under construction and only a few parts are habitable.