More than 100 employees of Clarence House, Charles III’s residence when he was prince, were made redundant following the latter’s accession to the throne. An announcement made during a period of mourning for his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, strongly criticized by a union.
Changes will be made within the princely residence. Redundancies are “inevitable” at Clarence House, the former official residence of Charles III in London, a spokesman confirmed on Wednesday. A quick decision strongly criticized by a union.
According to The Guardian newspaper, dozens of Clarence House staff have already received their dismissal letters. A hundred people would work there, some for decades.
The services of the king and queen consort will be transferred to Buckingham Palace after the accession to the throne of Charles III, who became king last Thursday after the death of his mother Elizabeth II.
“Following last week’s accession to the throne, the operations of the household of the former Prince of Wales and the former Duchess of Cornwall have ceased and, as required by law, a consultation process started,” said Clarence House, contacted by AFP.
A “heartless” decision
“Our staff have given long and loyal service and, although some redundancies are inevitable, we are working urgently to identify alternative roles for as many staff as possible,” Clarence House added.
“Clarence House’s decision to announce layoffs in a time of mourning is simply heartless,” the general secretary of the PCS union said in a statement.
“If changes were to be expected as roles evolve within the Royal Family, the scale and speed with which they were announced is ruthless in the extreme,” the union adds.
Clarence House employees are not represented by a recognized union, however, notes the Guardian.
According to the newspaper, the royal services initially wanted to delay announcing the layoffs until after Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday. But after legal advice, it would have been decided to share the news as soon as possible.
All laid off employees will be offered ‘enhanced’ severance packages and none will be affected for at least three months, according to royal sources.