Dismissals are “inevitable” at Clarence House, the former official residence of Charles III in London, a spokesman confirmed on Wednesday, a decision that was quickly criticized by a union.
According to The Guardian newspaper, dozens of Clarence House staff have already received their dismissal letters. A hundred people are said to have worked at Clarence House, 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. “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.
The union reacts
“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. “While changes were to be expected as roles evolve within the Royal Family, the scale and speed with which they have been 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 had initially wanted to delay the announcement of the redundancies until after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II 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 pay and none will be affected for at least three months, according to royal sources.
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