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100 loyal Charles staff face sack

There is widespread disgust that the notices of dismissal were not held back until after the Queen’s state funeral on Monday
King Charles III
King Charles III
File Photo

Amit Roy   |   London   |   Published 15.09.22, 12:44 AM

Britain’s new monarchy has suffered its first public relations disaster with the disclosure that more than a hundred loyal staff at Clarence House have been told they face being kicked out because King Charles III will no longer require their services when he moves home to Buckingham Palace.

There is widespread disgust that the notices of dismissal were not held back until after the Queen’s state funeral on Monday when more than 300 world leaders, including President Biden, are expected in Westminster Abbey.

One staff member 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.”

Sources said there was no ill feeling towards Charles himself. One said: “It’s not directed against the King — who everyone loves at Clarence House or they wouldn’t have been working there — but against the way it has been handled by the bean counters.  This is what happens when you have a change of reign. You can’t keep two households going.”

To begin four days of lying in state, the Queen’s coffin was moved on Wednesday evening from Buckingham Palace to nearby Westminster Hall, with Charles, his sons William and Harry, and other members of the royal family marching ceremonially behind a gun carriage. Marching orders of a different kind were served on 101 staff who had served Charles for years at Clarence House.

The news of the sackings broke when Iain Dale, a high-profile presenter, was doing his show on LBC talk radio. He openly expressed his contempt for the callous decision taken by the powers that be at Clarence House. It was not clear whether Charles himself knew the dismissal notices were being served on staff even as he was at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh holding a vigil for his mother. 

According to Clarence House’s annual review earlier this year, Charles employed the full-time equivalent of 101 staff. There are 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 the 28 members of his household staff include four chefs, five house managers, three valets and dressers and a couple of butlers. Charles had 12 staff managing his communications.

The alleged villain of the piece has been identified as Charles’s principal private secretary, Clive Alderton, who said in his letter: “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.”

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