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Palace assistants wait to see Her Majesty’s coffin in historic procession

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Clarence House staff looked gloomy as they waited to be photographed today to see Her Majesty’s coffin in the historic procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.

Members of the Royal Family accompanied the Queen on her harrowing final journey from her London home to Westminster Hall, where she will be in state for the next five nights.

As of 2:22 p.m. this afternoon, the eyes of the world were once again on the king as he led his family on foot to Westminster Hall – the old building at the heart of the Palace of Westminster that now houses his mother’s coffin.

Clarence House staff stood side by side dressed in black for the procession, according to the BBC.

It comes after dozens of staff working for the king at Clarence House could be fired if his former household closes in an announcement that reportedly left workers “trembling” with grief and anger.

Clarence House staff (pictured) looked gloomy as they waited for the photo to see Her Majesty’s coffin in the historic procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey today

Members of the Royal Family accompanied the Queen on her harrowing final journey from her London home to Westminster Hall, where she will be in state for the next five nights. Pictured, Clarence House staff waiting to see the procession, according to the BBC

Members of the Royal Family accompanied the Queen on her harrowing final journey from her London home to Westminster Hall, where she will be in state for the next five nights. Pictured, Clarence House staff waiting to see the procession, according to the BBC

Workers, some of whom had been with Charles for decades, claimed their jobs were on the line when a church service was held for the Queen on Monday.

A source told the Guardian: ‘Everyone is absolutely furious, including private secretaries and the senior team. All staff have been working late every night since Thursday to accommodate this. People were visibly shocked by it.’

Clarence House, which has about 102 full-time employees, said “some layoffs will be inevitable.”

But a spokesperson added that it will work to “identify alternative roles for the largest number of employees.”

Those who do lose their jobs – including employees of the financial administration, the communication team and the domestic staff – will receive help finding a new job and an ‘increased’ severance payment.

The King and Queen Consort are expected to move to Buckingham Palace, where they will take on the palace’s team of approximately 490 employees.

Staff are said to have been “visibly shocked” after being informed of potential cuts at Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral.

Workers, some of whom had been with Charles for decades, claimed their jobs were on the line when a church service was held for the Queen on Monday. Pictured: Charles and Camilla presenting addresses in the Palace of Westminster

Workers, some of whom had been with Charles for decades, claimed their jobs were on the line when a church service was held for the Queen on Monday. Pictured: Charles and Camilla presenting addresses in the Palace of Westminster

Clarence House, which has about 102 full-time employees, said

Clarence House, which has about 102 full-time employees, said “some layoffs will be inevitable.” Pictured: Clarence House

In a letter to staff, Sir Clive Alderton, the King’s top assistant, said: ‘The change in the role of our directors will also change our household.

‘The work previously done in this household in support of the personal interests, former activities and domestic activities of the former Prince of Wales will no longer be carried out and the household… at Clarence House will be closed.

“Therefore, it is expected that the need for the functions primarily based in Clarence House, whose work supports these areas, will no longer be needed. I understand this is disturbing news and I wanted to let you know what support is currently available.”

But a spokesperson added that it will work to

But a spokesperson added that it will work to “identify alternative roles for the largest number of employees.” Those who do lose their jobs – including employees of the financial administration, the communication team and the domestic staff – will receive help finding a new job and an ‘increased’ severance payment. Pictured: Clarence House

The letter added that certain staff members who provide “direct, personal support and advice” to King and Queen Camilla will remain in office.

Final decisions will be made after the legal consultation period, which is expected to begin next Monday after the Queen’s funeral.

While the announcement has reportedly sparked anger within the king’s former household, sources said there was no ill-feeling towards Charles himself. One of them said, “It’s not against the King – whom everyone loves in Clarence House or they wouldn’t have worked there – but the way it’s been treated by the bean counters.

“This is what happens when you have a change of government. You can’t run two households, especially when the work the king is going to do is so fundamentally difficult. But the timing and delivery is bad. The treasurers only look at it from the financial costs, not from the human side.’

Final decisions will be made after the legal consultation period, which is expected to begin next Monday after the Queen's funeral. Pictured: Clarence House

Final decisions will be made after the legal consultation period, which is expected to begin next Monday after the Queen’s funeral. Pictured: Clarence House

A Clarence House spokesperson said: ‘Following last week’s accession, the activities of the former Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s household have ceased and, as required by law, a consultation process has begun.

“Our employees have provided long and loyal shifts and while some layoffs will be inevitable, we are urgently working to find alternative roles for the largest number of employees.”

According to the Clarence House website, Charles employed the full-time equivalent of four chefs, two butlers, two drivers, five housekeepers, and three servants and dressers.

He had 12 employees who managed his communications, two people in charge of his travels and 30 employees in the finance department. Another 31 worked as secretary, researcher or querries.

t.witherow@dailymail.co.uk

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