Queen gives Prince William new role as Meghan and Harry step back from royal duties

Sabrina Barr
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Queen Elizabeth II has bestowed a new royal role upon the Duke of Cambridge.

The news of the duke’s appointment comes shortly after the announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer be working members of the royal family, having expressed their wish to step down as “senior” royals earlier this month.

Prince William is to assume the position of Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, which is due to be held from Saturday 16 May to Friday 22 May.

An official statement released by Kensington Palace explains that the Lord High Commissioner represents the sovereign at the Assembly after being appointed by the monarch “on the advice of the Prime Minister”.

“The Lord High Commissioner’s role is to maintain the relationship between the State and the Church, and a long-standing tradition of appointing a Lord High Commissioner originated in the latter part of the 16th Century,” the statement outlines.

“The person appointed to the role is a Scottish figure, whose appointment is based on merit and their contribution to society.”

Individuals who have previously served as Lord High Commissioner include Anna, Princess Royal; Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay; Prince Andrew, the Duke of York; and Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex.

As part of the proceedings of the General Assembly, Prince William will deliver the opening and closing addresses of the event.

The royal will also “observe debates” and conduct a “programme of engagements to reflect the work of charities and the Church”.

The Lord High Commissioner role was first established by the 1707 Act of Union between England and Scotland.

During her first Privy Council meeting in 1952, the Queen pledged to continue the tradition of appointing an individual for the position on an annual basis.

Earlier this month, Prince William and Prince Harry released a joint statement dispelling a “false story” that had been circulating regarding their relationship.

The royal brothers described the “inflammatory language” used in the newspaper article as “offensive and potentially harmful”, emphasising that they both “care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health”.

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