A constitutional expert has cast doubt on the future of the 16 charities supported by the Prince of Wales when he becomes king.
Dr Bob Morris of University College London’s Constitutional Unit said Prince Charles would be expected to withdraw from a front-line role in support of his charities when he becomes king.
Dr Morris told Third Sector: "Because he has been the heir for so long, Prince Charles has been able to develop a considerable charity ‘career’ and the situation at his accession will therefore be unprecedented. However, a necessary stepping back from active involvement will not mean automatically cutting all his ties, and he will no doubt be giving careful thought to how any continuing relationships should be best managed when he succeeds."
Prince Charles is the founder or key supporter of 16 organisations, which include the Prince’s Trust, the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts and the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community.
The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community refused to speculate on what would happen to it if Prince Charles became king.
"These questions are speculative, so we are not in a position to comment," a spokesman for the foundation said. "If a time arises when such decisions do need to be made, they will be done so by the board of trustees of the independent charities in discussion with their president."
The Prince’s Trust and the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts made similar statements.
A spokeswoman for Clarence House said the succession issue was a matter for the charities. "The prince’s charities are independent charities and will make their own decisions about what will happen in this eventuality," she said.
But Joe Saxton, head of the consultancy nfpSynergy, said the prince’s charities could suffer financially if they did not act.
"This could be quite devastating for some of the charities supported by the prince, especially the smaller ones, if nobody does anything about it until the Queen dies," he said. "The Queen’s eventual death is not a speculative issue, it’s an inevitable one and it is more certain than independence for Scotland."
The full list of charities supported by the Prince of Wales are:
The Prince's Drawing School
The Prince's School of Traditional Arts
The Prince's Trust
The Prince's Teaching Institute
The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts
University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership
The Prince's Foundation for Building Community
The Prince's Regeneration Trust
Scottish Business in the Community
In Kind Direct
The Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise
Youth Business International
The British Asian Trust
Business in the Community.