Who is King Charles III’s Regent and how does Regency work? A simplification of a complex topic

We answer your burning questions.
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With both King Charles III and Catherine, Princess of Wales both currently undergoing treatment for their respective cancer diagnoses, other members of the British royal family are stepping up to help out.

There is a level of uncertainty surrounding who is taking on what responsibilities, especially in regards to the King, which leads many to ask the question: who is the King’s Regent?

King Charles coronation.
Charles has been monarch since September 2022. (Image: Getty)

Who is the current Regent of England?

A regent is someone who is appointed to manage a state in place of the monarch if they are unable to perform their duties.

Due to King Charles’ recent cancer diagnosis, His Majesty has taken a backseat in royal duties, especially public-facing duties. However, at this time the King is still the acting monarch.

If for some reason Charles is unable to manage the state in future, his Regent will take over. The current Regent of England is Charles’ son William, Prince of Wales.

This is because the rules of the Regency Act of 1937 state that the regent is the next adult in the line of succession.

Prince William is the current Regent. (Image: Getty)

What powers does a regent have?

Regents have the power to act on behalf of the monarch, but their specific powers are determined by the country’s constitution.

For the British royal family, the Regent is subject to the same constitutional protocols as the monarch. In essence, this means that Prince William would have the power to do almost everything King Charles could.

The only limitation is that the Regent cannot put forward or approve a bill to change the line of succession to the Crown, or a bill to alter “An Act for Securing the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government”.

Who would be Regent for George?

If Prince George became King while under the age of 18, Prince Harry would step in a Regent. This is because Prince Harry is the next adult in line for the throne.

The Duke of Sussex would act as Regent for Prince George until he became an adult himself.

Prince Harry would be Regent for Prince George. (Image: Getty)

Is Harry still in line for the throne?

Prince Harry is still in the line of succession for the British throne, despite stepping down as a working royal in 2020.

While the Duke of Sussex is no longer a working senior royal, he still maintains his royal titles.

Was Prince Philip a regent?

Prince Philip was never Regent due to the Regency Act that outlines the next in line to the throne, not the monarch’s spouse, will act in their place.

However, shortly after becoming monarch in 1952 the late Queen Elizabeth II did intervene to ensure that Prince Philip would serve as Regent for their young son Charles in the event of her unexpected death.

Elizabeth was determined to make sure that her husband had a “place, pre-eminence and precedence” next to her “on all occasions and in all meetings”.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip smiling together.
Prince Philip never acted as Regent. (Image: Getty)

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