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  #1  
Old 01-11-2020, 09:09 AM
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How Many Working Royals are Needed?

Based on the post below by Muhler and the current developments in the British royal family, I thought a more general thread about the number of working royals that a country needs might be interesting to discuss (if there is already another thread discussing this exact same issue, feel free to merge).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
True.
The minimum requirement in any monarchy IMO are five adults working royals. - And preferably all of them in working order.
Illness, divorce, accidents, unfortunate behavior and old age can quickly reduce the number of working royals - as we are seeing in Norway right now.
So, Muhler kicks of by '5'.

My first thoughts are that 2 full-time couples (typically the monarch and spouse and the heir and spouse) and one part-time couple for each generation would work rather well. The exact number of full-time/part-time working royals will fluctuate a bit over the reign of each monarch.

The part-time couples (sibling with spouse) are especially needed at the start of new reigns in the case of abdication. Because people are older when they have their first child, in the case of abdication, they new heir is typically not yet of age (and/or has not yet completed his/her education); so during that transition period: the abdicated king/queen might take on some limited duties; while siblings and uncle/aunt also remain around to support a bit longer until the new heir (and sibling) takes a more prominent role.

[As you can see, this idea somewhat resembles the Dutch situation; which imo safeguards the continuity (currently at risk in Norway) without putting too much strain on those not in a direct line nor too early on the heir]
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:29 AM
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I think this is going to be massively hard to determine.

My understanding is, that the BRF particularly with its commonwealth responsibilities is going to be doing a lot more engagements than say the Danes or the Dutch.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Lumutqueen View Post
I think this is going to be massively hard to determine.

My understanding is, that the BRF particularly with its commonwealth responsibilities is going to be doing a lot more engagements than say the Danes or the Dutch.
Of course, there could be different models/numbers depending on the expectations within the various countries. Feel free to discuss what parameters might be relevant in determining the number of working royals
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:49 AM
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Of course, there could be different models/numbers depending on the expectations within the various countries. Feel free to discuss what parameters might be relevant in determining the number of working royals


A bit simplistic, but for me it’s literally the amount of engagements that need to take place. Where smaller role families have been the norm for years, Denmark is a clear example of this, then less engagements are okay.

The public want to see their royal families, and taking two people out of the equation, and apparently their engagements in the UK will only be at high profile family events I can see it being a massive issue.

The more engagements, the more working royals needed. Especially when you consider the amount of royal patronage’s there are in the UK.

For me BRF in particular, a rough guess would be 8-10 working royals depending on what time we are at during someone’s reign.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:35 AM
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I think, in the case of the BRF specifically, you also have to consider that Charles may be close to 80 years old by the time he becomes King. That’s about the time his mother and father began to cut back on travel and slow down a bit. The spirit may be willing but he may not physically be able to do as much. And even now, Camilla has to keep her health in mind for travel and engagements.
Even in 10 years time, there will be fewer working royals just by natural attrition. No Kents, limited Gloucesters, Anne, if her health continues to be robust, the Wessexes, the Cambridges. The Cambridge children will still be in school.

The far fewer people, many of them older, will not be able to do as many engagements. The Wessexes and the Cambridges will be busy.
The number of engagements will have to change-or more people will be needed.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:48 AM
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They did almost 4000 engagements last year per Bertie's post(s).

I don't see how that will be possible with Charles/Camilla, William/Catherine, Anne, Edward/Sophie. We have no idea at what point the Cambridge kids will be working IF all three become working royals. At least 20/25 years down the road I'd guess.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:14 PM
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It depends on the country. More working royals presumably are needed in the UK (also covering the Commonwealth) than in Norway for example.


I would say the minimum would be:


  1. The King and the Queen (or the Queen and the Prince Consort).
  2. The monarch's adult children (all of them) plus their spouses (both husbands and wives).
  3. The heir's children if they are of sufficient age (preferably after having finished all their formal education), and spouses if/when available.


When the King's children are still minors, as it is the case now in Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, or when there are few available adult children of the monarch, I think it makes sense to involve also the monarch's adult siblings, who could be phased out when the monarch's and/or the heir's children are ready to take full-time royal duties.


EDIT: Given current rates of longevity, monarchs with underage children are unlikely unless abdication at a designated "retirement age" becomes a norm. In a country like the UK, where abdication is frowned upon, it is very likely that adult children of the monarch or even adult children of the heir are available to work and, in that case, I don't think the monarch's siblings are needed at all.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:59 PM
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I just feel that really couldn't have come at the worst time. With the Duke of Ediburgh's retirement and Andrew's retirement - there is already s lot of patronages that need to find homes.
The Queen cannot take on more -
Prince Charles - already has a full schedule, and with the possibility of taken on more from the Queen.
Camilla - Uncertain here. Can she , will she?
William and Kate - Will have to up their patronages and engagements. However they have young kids that also need their parents.
Beatrice, Eugenie and husbands - I don't know if they will be allowed to even if they want to ?
Edward and Sophie - They have their niche patronages, maybe they can take up more. But they also have young children.
Anne - is already overloaded with patronages. She might be able to take some - but she will have to let some go - will she?
I don't really seeing the others been asked to assist.
Only William and Kate have the wow factor. ie - pull the press and headlines and the interest of younger generation. Now advance them fifteen years - they will not have enough coverage or generational pull. George and Charlotte will be too young.
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
Of course, there could be different models/numbers depending on the expectations within the various countries. Feel free to discuss what parameters might be relevant in determining the number of working royals

Culture and public opinion are significant factors. For example, as was talked about in the Japan subforum here, many Japanese ultranationalists claim they would like the imperial family to live quietly and keep out of the public eye. If the general public supported this view, the Japanese imperial family would probably require zero working royals other than the emperor.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody View Post

My first thoughts are that 2 full-time couples (typically the monarch and spouse and the heir and spouse) and one part-time couple for each generation would work rather well. The exact number of full-time/part-time working royals will fluctuate a bit over the reign of each monarch.

The part-time couples (sibling with spouse) are especially needed at the start of new reigns in the case of abdication. Because people are older when they have their first child, in the case of abdication, they new heir is typically not yet of age (and/or has not yet completed his/her education); so during that transition period: the abdicated king/queen might take on some limited duties; while siblings and uncle/aunt also remain around to support a bit longer until the new heir (and sibling) takes a more prominent role.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
I would say the minimum would be:


  1. The King and the Queen (or the Queen and the Prince Consort).
  2. The monarch's adult children (all of them) plus their spouses (both husbands and wives).
  3. The heir's children if they are of sufficient age (preferably after having finished all their formal education), and spouses if/when available.


When the King's children are still minors, as it is the case now in Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, or when there are few available adult children of the monarch, I think it makes sense to involve also the monarch's adult siblings, who could be phased out when the monarch's and/or the heir's children are ready to take full-time royal duties.


EDIT: Given current rates of longevity, monarchs with underage children are unlikely unless abdication at a designated "retirement age" becomes a norm. In a country like the UK, where abdication is frowned upon, it is very likely that adult children of the monarch or even adult children of the heir are available to work and, in that case, I don't think the monarch's siblings are needed at all.


Would those systems be feasible in monarchies which do not use a line of succession, where it may not be clear who the heir will be until the reigning monarch dies?

What about countries such as the UAE, where the current norm is that the women live private lives while the men perform the public roles?
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire View Post
I just feel that really couldn't have come at the worst time. With the Duke of Ediburgh's retirement and Andrew's retirement - there is already s lot of patronages that need to find homes.
The Queen cannot take on more -
Prince Charles - already has a full schedule, and with the possibility of taken on more from the Queen.
Camilla - Uncertain here. Can she , will she?
William and Kate - Will have to up their patronages and engagements. However they have young kids that also need their parents.
Beatrice, Eugenie and husbands - I don't know if they will be allowed to even if they want to ?
Edward and Sophie - They have their niche patronages, maybe they can take up more. But they also have young children.
Anne - is already overloaded with patronages. She might be able to take some - but she will have to let some go - will she?
I don't really seeing the others been asked to assist.
Only William and Kate have the wow factor. ie - pull the press and headlines and the interest of younger generation. Now advance them fifteen years - they will not have enough coverage or generational pull. George and Charlotte will be too young.
While disappointing for several organizations, I didn't see all patronages being redistributed. Both William and Harry made it clear they want closer relationships with organizations and projects they support than is possible with hundreds of patronages. William's numbers will eventually increase with his position but I don't think Harry and Meghan ever were going to take as many as would be needed for a complete redistribution.

Edward and Sophie might be the ones taking up most of the patronages as their children aren't that young anymore and they have shown themselves to be reliable members of the family. But again, taking over all the queen's and the duke of Edinburgh's and the duke of York's patronages is not feasible in any way.
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:07 PM
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Six.
The King.
The future King.
The former King.
And their eventual spouses.

That is what we see in most all Continental monarchies. Occasionally other members of the Royal House join, mostly because of a personal attachment, but do that outside their own independent lives.

That must be enough as republics like France, Italy, Poland, Russia, Portugal etc. also do not have "working presidential family".
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:19 PM
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The Kents and Gloucesters are involved with various things, but their children aren't - nor would anyone expect them to be. Princess Margaret's children aren't working royals. Only a small number of royals are going to be involved in the big events like overseas tours, attending weddings and funerals of foreign royals, etc, but there are a lot of charities and other organisations to which royal patronage is important. I think it's very good of Beatrice and Eugenie to do as much as they do, bearing in mind that they aren't "working royals" as such.


George is only 6. It'll be at least 15 years before he finishes university, and even then he's unlikely to want to be a full time royal without doing anything else first.


Camilla's going to the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on her own, because Prince Charles is going to the commemorative event in Jerusalem at the same time. I think it's going to be quite big for her, because it's obviously something very important and sensitive, and she doesn't normally do things like that on her own ... but there just aren't enough senior royals to go round, so maybe we're going to see more of this.
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire View Post
I just feel that really couldn't have come at the worst time. With the Duke of Ediburgh's retirement and Andrew's retirement - there is already s lot of patronages that need to find homes.
The Queen cannot take on more -
Prince Charles - already has a full schedule, and with the possibility of taken on more from the Queen.
Camilla - Uncertain here. Can she , will she?
William and Kate - Will have to up their patronages and engagements. However they have young kids that also need their parents.
Beatrice, Eugenie and husbands - I don't know if they will be allowed to even if they want to ?
Edward and Sophie - They have their niche patronages, maybe they can take up more. But they also have young children.
Anne - is already overloaded with patronages. She might be able to take some - but she will have to let some go - will she?
I don't really seeing the others been asked to assist.
Only William and Kate have the wow factor. ie - pull the press and headlines and the interest of younger generation. Now advance them fifteen years - they will not have enough coverage or generational pull. George and Charlotte will be too young.
In 2013 the brand new King Willem-Alexander dropped ALL royal patronages held by himself and his mother. From the society of the blind to animal welfare. From the Flying Doctors to historic windmills. How did the King sell this? Simply: he made known he desired to be a King for ALL Dutchmen.

There was no protest. A handful of traditional patronages connected with or once established by the Crown was maintained: the War Graves Foundation, the Nobility Association, the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Praemium Erasmanianum.

But no longer Dogs For The Deaf, the Amateur Opera Society, the Rotterdam Yachting Club,
the Young Womens' Christian Association, etc. The new King dropped all that in an attempt to streamline the monarchy and make it more lean and agile.

I think this would work in the UK as well. Organisations can thrive very well without royal patrons. Ask the British equivalents in France or Germany.
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
Six.
The King.
The future King.
The former King.
And their eventual spouses.

That is what we see in most all Continental monarchies. Occasionally other members of the Royal House join, mostly because of a personal attachment, but do that outside their own independent lives.
But as I asked above:

Is a model in terms of "their eventual spouses" workable in countries, such as the UAE, where royal women are expected to live privately and leave public work to the men?

Is a model in terms of "the future King" workable in countries, such as Oman, where the future King is only determined after the death of the former King?
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Old 01-11-2020, 03:03 PM
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Spain has just 3 working royals

King Felipe VI
Queen Letizia
Queen Sofia

Infanta Elena on rare occasions.
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Old 01-11-2020, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by An Ard Ri View Post
Spain has just 3 working royals

King Felipe VI
Queen Letizia
Queen Sofia

Infanta Elena on rare occasions.



There were six, however, when JC was king and his children were of age:


King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia
Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia
Infanta Elena
Infanta Cristina





In the future, Leonor (and her husband) and Infanta Sofía will be working royals too. Elena and Cristina were evicted from the Familia Real because their father is no longer king, although they keep their HRH style and their title of Infanta de España.
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Old 01-11-2020, 03:53 PM
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Kicking out royals at an older age while expecting them to take on full-time royal duties when they are in their thirties and forties seems rather unfair to the younger (or older but lower in the line of succession) siblings. If the intention is not for them to be full-time royals until retirement age; I'd say a royal family can only realistically ask them to be 'part-time royals', so they can build up a professional life outside of their royal duties (which of course should not clash with those responsibilities) and prepare themselves for the moment in which they are no longer needed...
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
Kicking out royals at an older age while expecting them to take on full-time royal duties when they are in their thirties and forties seems rather unfair to the younger (or older but lower in the line of succession) siblings. If the intention is not for them to be full-time royals until retirement age; I'd say a royal family can only realistically ask them to be 'part-time royals', so they can build up a professional life outside of their royal duties (which of course should not clash with those responsibilities) and prepare themselves for the moment in which they are no longer needed...



My understanding is that Elena and Cristina had private careers (so they were "part timers" as you say), but they were officially part of the Familia Real and, as such, working royals when their father was king. Now they are no longer part of Familia Real, but only of the "Familia del Rey". Members of Familia Real get public funding and the Infantas did too until their brother became king.
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
My understanding is that Elena and Cristina had private careers (so they were "part timers" as you say), but they were officially part of the Familia Real and, as such, working royals when their father was king. Now they are no longer part of Familia Real, but only of the "Familia del Rey". Members of Familia Real get public funding and the Infantas did too until their brother became king.
As long as these things are clear from the start, I think it might work. Although I do wonder the wisdom of kicking out the siblings of a monarch instead of asking them to stay on as 'part timers' (as they age they can slowly decrease instead of completely removing them; especially if the children of the new monarch are not yet old enough to fully start their royal duties).
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Old 01-11-2020, 05:04 PM
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Five is the minimum IMO.
Whether they will be all men or all women or married couples is up to the individual monarchy.

But they should preferably be from three generations.

One or two from the oldest generation. I.e. 60+ - That will usually be the monarch and a spouse.
They can brutally speaking die any moment, and may not be that vigorous anymore, but they have got huge experience!
Having been around for so long, they often appeal to the older generations and also stand for stability and maintaining tradition.
They also have more time to tutor the youngest.

Two middle aged. 35-60. Preferably a married couple. They are in their prime. Well prepared and having finished their education. They are usually also the parents to next heir.
Being in their prime they are the primary couple, also in regards to taking on heavier duties, not least duties abroad.

One or two young. 20-35. - May still be single, undergoing education and personal development. i.e. travels, dating, or getting settled in a relationship/marriage.
They are not that experienced but they represent the younger generations and that's important.

- If the oldest die or otherwise move out. The primary couple is ready to take over.

- If the middle-aged primary couple die or leave the field. The younger will replace them under guidance from the oldest generation.

- If the youngest die or do a Sussex. The middle-aged couple will usually have a younger child or two, to be groomed to take over.

So to sum up: Five working adults is a minimum. Less than five is dangerously few. And can only remain a state of affair for a few years.
Three or less than three is downright critical!

--------------------

In Norway they have four working adults. - That's already dangerously few.
One from the middle-aged generation is seriously ill and can be expected to die, or at least become unable to work within a few years.

The two oldest are old and frail and may die or be unable to perform their duties to an extent where they can be labelled active working royals, within few years.

There are at present none from the younger generation.
It will at best be five years before one is ready to step in here.

So within the next five years or so, the situation will be critical in Norway and remain critical for quite a number of years to come.
In say ten years the NRF will very likely be reduced to two working adults and remain so for years, until Ingrid or Haakon marry/remarry.
So Magnus Sverre will have to be drafted simply out of necessity.

I know, it's a brutal, cynical analasis I outline here.
Hence why I believe five is the minimum.
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