King Charles’ staff at Clarence House are reported to be “livid” after receiving redundancy notices during a service for the dead Queen.
Up to 100 staff at the King’s former official London residence learned – during the thanksgiving ceremony for the Queen, held on Monday in Edinburgh – that their jobs are at risk.
“Everybody is absolutely livid, including private secretaries and the senior team. All the staff have been working late every night since Thursday, to be met with this. People were visibly shaken by it,” a source told , told the Guardian.
The decision to announce the staff redundancies during the period of national mourning has been condemned as “nothing short of heartless” by the Public and Commercial Services Union.
General secretary Mark Sewotka called “the scale and speed” of the announcement “callous in the extreme… “[L]east of all because we do not know what staffing the incoming Prince of Wales and his family might need.”
The Queen employed 491 full-time staff, according to the latest sovereign grant report, while King Charles, as Prince of Wales, employed the equivalent of 101 full-time staff at Clarence House. The private secretaries’ offices and treasury department both have around 30 staff. A dozen more comprise the communications office. Five house managers, four chefs, three valets and dressers “and a couple of butlers”, make up the rest.
Some have worked at Clarence House for decades but now face redundancy as King Charles and the Queen Consort move to royal headquarters at Buckingham Palace. Staff had assumed they would be integrated in the move and were “given no indication of what was coming until the [redundancy] letter from Sir Clive Alderton, the Kings top aide, arrived.”
In it, Alderton told staff the “portfolio of work previously undertaken in this household supporting the former Prince of Wales’s personal interests, former activities and household operations will no longer be carried out, and the household … at Clarence House will be closed down.”
A spokesperson for Clarence House said “Following last week’s accession [of Charles to the throne], the operations of the household of the former Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have ceased and, as required by law, a [redundancy] consultation process has begun.
“Our staff have given long and loyal service and, while some redundancies will be unavoidable, we are working urgently to identify alternative roles for the greatest possible number of staff.”
Mob smashes chip shop windows of anti-monarchist owner
In Scotland, a chip shop owner had their windows smashed and required police assistance after angering people by posting a video celebrating the Queen’s death.
In the clip, Jacki Pickett popped the cork of a champagne bottle and held a sign exclaiming “Lizard Liz is dead, London Bridge has fallen”, while spraying fizz and whooping “woohoo” outside the chip shop.
The Express reports that Pickett’s “very public episode on Thursday evening [the day the Queen died] attracted the attention of a mob who began booing the business owner, before pelting eggs at the storefront.”
Police arrived in the village of Muir of Ord in the Scottish Highlands and closed the shop over safety concerns for the owner. Pickett’s car was “pelted with rocks and other objects” as she drove away with a police escort. That night the chip shop’s windows were smashed.
The Telegraph reports that abuse aimed at Pickett “continued online, with people vowing to run her out of town in the coming weeks”.
The National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) has revoked Pickett’s membership.