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What Is The "Firm Of 8"? The Queen May Be Re-Imagining Senior Royals' Roles Amid COVID

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the royal family has kept group activities to a minimum, but that could all change soon. On Thursday, Dec. 10, Queen Elizabeth reportedly selected eight senior royals to represent the family in public outings moving forward. This group is being dubbed the "New Firm." If you're wondering what is the "firm of eight," exactly, here's what to know.

In order to carry out the queen's mission of "one must be seen to be believed," Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Edward, the Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne, and the queen herself will reportedly make public appearances together in 2021. The move also aligns with Prince Charles’ vision to create a slimmed-down monarchy.

The lineup noticeably doesn't include Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who stepped down as senior royals in January and then moved to the United States. Prince Andrew is also missing from the list, but that's no surprise, considering he stepped back from public duties in November 2019 amid his involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein case.

The New Firm made their first public appearance on Tuesday, Dec. 8, on the steps of the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle, marking a rare public outing for the royal family amid the pandemic. According to Good Morning America, this was the first time this many royal family members have gathered publicly since March. The group came together to thank local workers, volunteers, and the Salvation Army for all they’ve done during the pandemic.

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According to the Mirror, the New Firm is excited to see what's in store for them in 2021.

"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 royal source told the publication. "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."

Another source from the palace said, "It is clear there is a desire to return to normal when possible."

It seems the royals have a lot planned for 2021, and everyone can't wait to see what they accomplish together.