PRINCE Andrew is to continue in his role as Counsellor of State - meaning he can step in for King Charles in the event he is unable to undertake official duties.

The Duke of York, who has been in the role since 1981, would be able to take over from the new King if he was unwell or out of the country.

A Counsellor of State includes the Sovereign's spouse and the next four people in the line of succession aged over 21.

Charles's wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, will take on the role alongside Prince William and Prince Harry.

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Andrew's daughter Princess Beatrice is the youngest member to be appointed at 34.

The Royal Family website says: "Counsellors of State are authorised to carry out most of the official duties of the Sovereign, for example, attending Privy Council meetings, signing routine documents and receiving the credentials of new ambassadors to the United Kingdom."

Prince Andrew will continue on in his role as Counsellor of State under King Charles IIIDespite stepping back from public life Prince Andrew will remain a Counsellor of State

Andrew stepped down from public life after the furore over his friendship with paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

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He went on to pay millions to settle a civil sexual assault case to a woman he claimed never to have met.

In January, ahead of his legal settlement, the Queen stripped him of all of his honorary military roles, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, and he gave up his HRH style.

Virginia Giuffre sued him for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was 17 after she was trafficked by Epstein. Andrew denied the claims.

Under the 1937 Regency Act, the five Counsellor of State roles are automatically filled by the monarch's consort and the next four people in the line of succession over the age of 21.

As such, it would take an act of parliament to change the rules so that Andrew was not given a role.

Buckingham Palace has been approached for comment.