Staff members at Clarence House have reportedly been given notice of their redundancy as King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, are set to move to Buckingham Palace following the death of the Queen, according to the Guardian. It is thought that up to 100 workers at Clarence House could be affected by the news, as the King changes his official residence.
Staff who are impacted by the redundancy notice are said to be private secretaries, the finance office, the communications team and household staff.
Workers were reportedly given notice during the thanksgiving service for the Queen, at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh on Monday as King Charles led the procession with his siblings.
Some staff allegedly assumed they would be given new roles in the King’s new household, but sources said they had no indication what was coming until a letter from Sir Clive Alderton, the King’s top aide, arrived.
In the letter seen by the Guardian, Sir Alderton wrote: “The change in role for our principals will also mean change for our household … The portfolio of work previously undertaken in this household supporting the former Prince of Wales’s personal interests, former activities and household operations will no longer be carried out, and the household … at Clarence House will be closed down. It is therefore expected that the need for the posts principally based at Clarence House, whose work supports these areas will no longer be needed.”
One source said: “Everybody is absolutely livid, including private secretaries and the senior team. All the staff have been working late every night since Thursday, to be met with this. People were visibly shaken by it.”
Sir Alderton, the King’s private secretary, continued in the letter: “I appreciate that this is unsettling news and I wanted to let you know of the support that is available at this point.”
He added that certain staff providing “direct, close, personal support and advice” to Charles and Camilla would remain in post. No final decisions are understood to have been taken, as a consultation period, which will begin after the state funeral next Monday, needs to be completed first.
It is believed that staff who are made redundant could be offered alternative employment across other royal households and an “enhanced” redundancy payment beyond the statutory minimum.
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A Clarence House spokesman said: “Following last week’s accession, the operations of the household of the former Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have ceased and, as required by law, a consultation process has begun. Our staff have given long and loyal service and, while some redundancies will be unavoidable, we are working urgently to identify alternative roles for the greatest number of staff.”
It has not been confirmed whether or not the new King and Camilla, Queen Consort, will live at Buckingham Palace.
Currently, the Palace is undergoing major works that are expected to last years.
There is speculation that the King will use it for official purposes like receptions, audiences, investitures and banquets, while keeping Clarence House as his London home.
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When his office was asked about this in 2017, when he was still the Prince of Wales, a spokesperson said that Buckingham Palace would remain as the headquarters of the monarchy and official home of the sovereign.
The King employed the full-time equivalent of 101 staff according to Clarence House’s annual review earlier this year.
There are said to be 31 in the private secretaries’ office, including private and assistant private secretaries, research, administrative and equerry staff.
A similar number work in his treasurers’ department, while he employs 12 in his communications office. The 28 members of his household staff include four chefs, five house managers, three valets and dressers and a couple of butlers. According to the most recent sovereign grant report, the Queen employed 491 full-time staff.
We have contacted Clarence House for comment.