Queen Elizabeth’s job description has been rewritten.
A new version of the monarch’s “official duties” have been rewritten following her Platinum Jubilee, reducing the list of obligations she “must fulfil” and placing greater emphasis on the support of the wider royal family.
According to the Sovereign Grant report – which is signed of by Keeper of the Privy Purse Sir Michael Stevens – the queen’s role still includes two key elements, Head of State and Head of Nation.
The “formal constitutional concept” of Head of State previously had a 13-point list of duties the queen “must” undertake, including the State Opening of Parliament, paying and receiving state visits, and the appointment of the Prime Minister.
However, the new version offers a more loose definition, simply noting the queen’s role “encompasses a range of parliamentary and diplomatic duties” and noting only that she “receives” other visiting heads of state.
The symbolic role of Head of Nation is carried out “where appropriate or necessary” and focuses on her inspiring “unity and national identity” and “continuity and stability”, recognising the “achievement and success” of others and ensuring “support of service” from volunteers to the emergency services and the military.
The changes come amid the ongoing mobility problems the 96-year-old queen – who quit overseas visits in 2015 – has been experiencing in recent months, which have seen
The “Queen’s programme” of engagements has been swapped for a more general “visits in royal programmes”.
The documents also note: “The Queen is greatly assisted by other members of the Royal family who undertake official duties on behalf of Her Majesty.”
A royal source told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper that it was not a “drastic” change, but a small update.
A palace source emphasised on Saturday night that it was not a “drastic” change, but a small update.
Earlier this year, Prince Charles and his son Prince William attended the State Opening of Parliament on her behalf, with the Prince of Wales frequently undertaking overseas engagements on her behalf.