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The Queen has asked Prince Charles to start looking at confidential state papers so he can take over quickly as King, according to a royal expert.
Her Majesty has reportedly demanded her 73-year-old son is 'kept up to speed' with the constitutional functions of her role.
Robert Jobson, author of the 2002 book Diana, says the death of Prince Philip aged 99 last year is said to have marked a 'sea-change' in the Prince of Wales' position within the Royal Family.
Writing in the Evening Standard, he described the new procedure as part of the latest in a "series of handovers", which included her sending the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on a royal visit to the Caribbean.
Describing the discussions around Charles' new responsibilities, he wrote: "The Queen, known as Reader Number One in Whitehall, wants Charles to be kept up to speed with all confidential state matters, so that the transition is as smooth as possible should anything happen to her."
He added that the Prince would be the "most well-prepared monarch-in-waiting ever" as he has already been involved in meetings with government for several decades, such as proposals for new legislation and notes from the Cabinet Office.
Last month, a royal insider claimed Charles and Prince William are working on a plan to slim down the monarchy in the future as "less people means less drama".
The revelation came after the father and son have reportedly discussed their plans for when they both ascend the throne.
According a source speaking to US magazine, the pair have agreed to “guide each other” in their mission to reform the Royal Family, so that it resembles a smaller European-style institution made up of fewer members.
The Duke of Cambridge is reportedly "excited about this new chapter in his life and the challenges he’ll be facing".
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- Prince Charles
- Royal Family
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