The Queen’s former press secretary has told Sky News there are probably tensions between staff in the royal households as younger members of the Royal Family take on more official duties.
“I don’t think there is a conflict behind the scenes as far as the main players (the royals) are concerned… but there probably is a conflict between the people who are organising them,” said Dickie Arbiter.
“There’s a tendency for people who join the royal households to get a bit of red carpet fever, feel a bit more important than they should do and don’t get on with the job properly.
“So there is a conflict of interest, a personality clash amongst each other, and that is not good.”
Palace advisers use the phrase “deconflicting” when they talk about the meetings between the palaces to make sure important engagements don’t overlap and they aren’t too many clashes between royal diaries.
But Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace do still at times work to their own agendas, with their own distinctive priorities, as staff try to manage the needs of an ageing monarch.
The announcement in the summer that the Queen’s private secretary and most senior adviser Sir Christopher Geidt was stepping down also led to suggestions of tensions behind the scenes.
Reports claimed Prince Charles had forced him to go because he disagreed with plans to make “Team Windsor”, as the royals are known, work together more closely.
Clarence House and Buckingham Palace strenuously denied the claims.
In September, a statement on their behalf said: “Recent years have seen an ever-closer working relationship between all the different royal households and their respective teams.
“The Prince of Wales and the entire Royal Family are committed to supporting the Queen in whatever way they can at Her Majesty’s request.”
It was announced on Wednesday that the Queen would break with tradition this Remembrance Sunday and has asked the Prince Charles to lay her wreath at the Cenotaph.
Instead, she will stand with the Duke of Edinburgh on a balcony of the Foreign Office to observe the service.
The decision has been seen by royal watchers as another significant move towards the gradual handover of the monarch’s responsibilities to younger members of the family, most notably her son, the heir to the throne.
While the Palace does not like to talk about transition, they have already smoothly managed the allocation of overseas tours and some of the Queen’s ceremonial duties.
This summer Prince William gave up his job flying with the East Anglian Air Ambulance so he could concentrate on royal engagements.
Author Robert Lacey, who has written books about the Queen, and most recently worked as historical adviser on TV series The Crown, told Sky News it marks a fascinating phase for the Windsors – with complex family dynamics.
“We’re actually talking about a new era,” he said.
“There’s all sorts of things to be looking out for. How Charles and his mother will get on – they’ve had their difficulties in the past, and Charles has had his difficulties with his own two sons.
“It’s a new regime we’re looking at and it’s very exciting, and on occasions like the Cenotaph we’re going to see it in practice.”
The Queen is still undertaking a significant number of public engagements however, and on Thursday evening attended her first following her return from Balmoral.
Accompanied by Princess Anne, the monarch was in attendance at the Army and Navy Club in central London to mark the centenary of the Women’s Royal Navy Service and the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corp.
(c) Sky News 2017: ‘Conflict’ likely among staff as Royal Family enters a new era