Hundreds of charities have been left in limbo without a royal patron following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Her Majesty had links as either patron or president with more than 500 charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organisations.
The royal link is considered by many to be invaluable for raising their profile and encouraging support.
The late Queen was associated with charities ranging from philanthropic juggernauts like Cancer Research UK to more obscure causes, such the Anglo-Norse society and the Ayrshire Cattle Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
However, other than in a few limited cases, a patronage does not pass automatically to the new King - meaning hundreds are waiting to be told whether their royal association will continue and, if so, in what form.
'Some patronages may cease'
Research by The Telegraph suggested that while high-profile charities have had contact from Buckingham Palace since Queen Elizabeth died on Sept 9, smaller groups have on the whole heard nothing.
Girlguides was among the charities who confirmed this week that they were in dialogue with the palace.
"We're working with the palace and will announce a new patron when appropriate,” said a spokesman for Girlguides.
The King is well known to favour a “slimmed down” monarchy, raising the prospect that not all his mother’s royal patronages will continue under his reign.
Queen Elizabeth inherited 433 charities from her father, King George VI, and by her 90th birthday was thought to have formal links to more than 100 more.
She began redistributing some in 2016 on her 90th birthday.
Joe Little, a Royal family expert, said recently: “It will be up to King Charles III to decide how to distribute any patronages reallocated by his mother.
“Given his alleged desire for a slimmed-down monarchy, some patronages may cease.”
Polling by the Charities Aid Foundation suggested that a third of people think that supporting charities is the single most important role played by the Royal family.
In total, 25 per cent said they heard of charities or appeals because of royal support.
The British Red Cross is one of the charities that operates under a Royal Charter, which states that the patronage of the organisation is reserved for the reigning monarch - meaning it has passed automatically to the King.
A spokesman for the organisation said: “The Royal family may also appoint heirs and successors to serve as president and as deputy president of the British Red Cross. An announcement about the future patronage of the organisation will be made in due course.”
'Charities are being contacted'
As well as charities whose patron was the late Queen, the change in monarch has left those formerly patronised by the new King wondering about their future royal links.
As Prince of Wales, King Charles served as patron of The Goon Show Preservation Society in 1998, reflecting his love of the 1950s radio programme.
Les Drew, from the organisation, reflected on the possibility of continuing the association under the new monarch.
“To think that a king would still be interested in something as silly as The Goon Show, even though it’s good fun, I don’t know what to say,” he said, revealing that the society had not yet heard from the palace.
“We just had a AGM, funnily enough, up in Finchley where there's the lovely statue of Spike [Milligan].
"A few of the members there were saying ‘what's happening, are we going to get King Charles?’
"We are just waiting to hear to be honest.”
A palace source described the task of reallocating patronages for charities as a “long process”.
A Buckingham Palace source said: "Obviously there has been an awful lot to organise and things are being worked through. Charities are being contacted."
The death of the late Queen has also thrown the system of Royal Warrants in turmoil.
All warrants granted by Queen Elizabeth became void upon her death, although companies will be permitted to keep the royal insignia on their packaging, website and official documents for two years.
A mark of recognition for those who supply goods or services to the Royal Household, Royal Warrants can only be granted by the monarch and their chosen grantors.