Prince William, King Charles and Prince Harry separated by pink lines

Piers Morgan fears Prince Harry could become ‘interim King’ as Charles and William both out of action

He is one of the Counsellors of State…

News that King Charles III will be heading into hospital has got Piers Morgan worried that Prince Harry might be making a return to the royal fold.

It was revealed yesterday (January 17) that the monarch will receive treatment for an enlarged prostate next week. The news was shared hours after the public were told the Princess of Wales is in hospital for an operation.

However, with Charles and Kate both out of action, and Prince William tending to his wife and caring for their three kids, Piers suggested it might be slim pickings when it came to a royal replacement…

King Charles wearing his crown at his coronation
King Charles III is going into hospital for a planned procedure next week (Credit: Splash News)

What happens if King Charles III is ‘incapacitated’?

The monarch has five Counsellors of State, who can step in and assume his duties.

The Buckingham Palace website explains: “In the event that The King cannot undertake his official duties as Sovereign on a temporary basis due to illness or absence abroad, two or more Counsellors of State are appointed by Letters Patent to act in His Majesty’s place.

“Counsellors of State are authorised to carry out most of the official duties of the Sovereign, for example, attending Privy Council meetings, signing routine documents and receiving the credentials of new ambassadors to the United Kingdom.”

By law, Counsellors of State include the Sovereign’s spouse and the next four people in the line of succession who are over the age of 21. In this case, these would be Queen Camilla, Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice.

Prince Andrew, Prince Harry and Princess Beatrice are not working royals. However, that hasn’t stopped Piers fearing his arch nemesis Harry could make a royal U-turn and return to save the day.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry smiling
Piers Morgan is worried Meghan and Harry may step in (Credit: Splash News)

Piers’ fears over ‘King Harry’

Speaking on his show Uncensored on Wednesday night, the presenter was joined by TalkTV’s royal editor Sarah Hewson. She explained other royal family members may have to step in and help out while the King and the Princess of Wales are recovering.

He asked: “Where does this leave us if King Charles is unconscious and William is looking after his kids do we start heading down the list of people if there is some duty the monarch has to perform? What actually happens here? We’re kind of in uncharted territory.”

Sarah explained the idea behind the Counsellors of State and commented that the list does “throw up a few problems”.

“We know the Prince of Wales is looking after his wife and children. Then it’s Prince Harry who is in California. Next on the list the Duke of York…”

Piers interjected: “Oh my God… He [Harry] won’t be interim King will he? With Queen Meghan?”

Sarah reassured Piers and said: “No he won’t.”

Instead, she went on to explain that the Princess Royal and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Andrew, will most likely step in.

Sarah assured: “The King will only be out of action for a short period of time.”

Prince William and wife Kate wearing black and looking sombre
Prince William is thought to be taking a step back to care for Kate and their kids as a result of her operation (Credit: Splash News)

King Charles III in ‘corrective procedure’

Buckingham Palace announced the King will go to hospital next week for the “corrective procedure”.

A statement added that the 75-year-old monarch’s condition was benign. However, it then added that all upcoming public engagements would be postponed.

The Princess of Wales, meanwhile, is expected to remain in hospital for up to two weeks. She will then spend time resting at home until Easter.

Read more: Princes William and Harry ‘won’t heal rifts’ in 2024, expert claims

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor