Queen's royal family: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince Andrew absent from 'New Firm'

Queen Elizabeth looks to have given the greenlight to a slimmed-down version of the royal family, with images this week revealing who's in and who's out of what's being called the 'New Firm'. 

Prince Charles - the Queen's son and heir to the British throne - has long been said to desire a streamlined monarchy with fewer active members and at a lesser cost to the taxpayer. 

According to reports out of the United Kingdom, he may have got his way, with the Queen agreeing to a new core group to represent the monarchy. 

It's been dubbed the 'New Firm' and consists of eight members - The Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Princess Royal. 

Notably absent are royal renegades Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, as well as Prince Andrew who remains embroiled in scandal due to his links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The Queen's husband, Prince Philip, was also absent, but he retired from royal duties in 2017.

The group made their first appearance this week, with photos posted to the Royal Family Instagram account showing the eightsome at an event at Windsor Castle also attended by local volunteers and workers from charities.

The 'New Firm'.
The 'New Firm'. Photo credit: Getty.

The Mirror reports that it was the Queen's idea to have the group gather on the steps of Windsor Castle and that courtiers have been told to plan events for the eight senior members. 

"The family are united in exploring the possibilities in working with each other to highlight the causes dear to their hearts, helping each other and the country at the same time," a source told the tabloid.

"They are working on opportunities for next year and beyond already. As soon as they are able it will be all hands on deck to make up for lost time."