Today will see the merging of the press offices at Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace. This news has come just a week after the first reports of the merging were announced.
The move is widely reported to be a method of easing the eventual transition to the throne for Prince Charles. It is being described as the latest step in Charles’ preparations to become King.
It is the first time in a generation that all of the Royal Family’s communication teams will be working in the same office, the Sunday Telegraph reports.
The Prince of Wales’ communication team have moved from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace, where one of his most senior courtiers is expected to take charge of all publicity for the Royal Family. A palace statement said the offices have merged “to better co-ordinate various strands of activities.”
Individual press secretaries and staff still remain in their original positions, but all are now based at Buckingham Palace. We are currently awaiting the official announcement confirming James Roscoe as The Queen’s new press secretary, after Miss Ailsa Anderson left the position to work for the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, in December last year. Patrick Harrison is Charles and Camilla’s press secretary, and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry’s is Ed Perkins.
Last year, The Prince of Wales visited Sri Lanka and represented his mother at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting; a sign that Prince Charles is preparing for the role he will one day fulfil. The Duchess of Cornwall is also playing a more prominent role now as she prepares for her role as consort.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge along with Prince Harry are also carrying out more royal engagements. This could soon lead to them becoming full time Royals.
The press office merge comes shortly after the Sunday Times reports that the 87 year old monarch’s state visit to Normandy later this year for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings could be her final official overseas visit.
There is wide speculation that the Queen’s visit to Normandy in the Summer may be her last foreign visit.
However, despite the signs that the transition between monarchs is taking place, talk of abdication is still vigorously denied by courtiers. On Her Majesty’s 21st birthday, the then Princess made a speech informing the people of the Commonwealth of her intention to reign for her whole life when she became Queen, and she has reaffirmed this dedication at different points throughout her reign.