As King Charles settles into his role as the monarch and head of state following his accession to the throne, he has shown how he is holding his mother, Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II dear.
In a photo published last night of King Charles at work in the Eighteenth Century Room at Buckingham Palace, there were a few subtle nods to his late mother and father, the late Duke of Edinburgh, which showed how the monarch will remember their influence when carrying out his royal duties.
Most striking was the black-and-white photo of the Queen and Prince Philip which sat on the side table behind the King’s desk while he worked on reviewing documents from his red box.
King Charles III was hard at work as he reviewed official documents from his red box during his first days as the monarch following the death of his mother (Pictured in the Eighteenth Century Room at Buckingham Palace)
Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (pictured with the red box at Sandringham in February 2022) began every single day reviewing documents from the red box, apart from Christmas Day
According to the Royal Family’s Instagram account, which published the photo of the King hard at work, the photo of the monarch’s late parents, was a gift from them to King George VI in 1951 at Christmas.
The photo of the Queen and Prince Philip is not the first tribute of its kind from the King, 73, after he addressed the nation for the first time on Friday 9 September from the Blue Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace, where some of Her late Majesty’s Christmas speeches had been filmed, with a photo of Her late Majesty on the desk next to him.
During the address, he also told the nation how he will draw upon his mother’s example during his own reign.
The King said: ‘Throughout her life, Her Majesty The Queen – my beloved Mother – was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example.
Just behind the King on a side table is a photo of his late parents, the Queen and Prince Philip, which they gave to King George VI as a Christmas gift in 1951
The blue and lilac flowers on display just behind the red box appear to contain delphiniums, which symbolise commemoration of the lives of lost loved ones
The Queen was pictured reviewing documents from the red box several times over the years (pictured in 1972)
‘Queen Elizabeth was a life well lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.’
Royal fans may also have noticed a tribute to King Charles’s mother in the bouquet of flowers sitting behind the red box in the new photo.
The display of blue and lilac petals appears to include sprigs of delphinium, a flower that holds several meanings. Primarily, delphinium is recognised as a sign of encouragement, joy and hope.
However, it also holds a more poignant symbolism for people who are grieving – in that it is often used to commemorate the lives of loved ones who have recently passed away.
Many royal fans may argue the photo itself is a tribute to the King’s late mother, who was often pictured reviewing documents from the red box.
The Royal Family’s official Instagram account wrote: ‘The Red Box contains papers from government ministers in the UK and the Realms and from representatives from the Commonwealth and beyond.
King Charles referenced lyrics from Song for Athene, which was performed at the funeral of Princess Diana as her cortège departed from Westminster Abbey on September 6, 1997
‘The documents are sent from the Private Secretary’s Office to The King, wherever he may be in residence, in a locked red despatch box.
‘Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth received Red Boxes, which were made upon her Coronation in 1952, almost every day of her reign, including weekends and holidays, but excluding Christmas Day.’
In almost every photo of Her late Majesty reviewing the documents, she is pictured candidly as she carefully reads through the briefing.
However 2022, which marked Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee year, saw a change in the late monarch’s red box photo. Taken at the Sandringham Estate in February, the Queen is pictured smiling into the camera next to the Red Box, and wearing a light green outfit.
The King’s first Red Box photo, which was taken last week, reflects the Queen’s previous, more candid photos with the important documents.
King Charles’s clothes are also of significance, while he and the Royal Family continue to observe a period of mourning. Although the photo was taken before the Queen was laid to rest in a state funeral at Westminster Abbey and Committal Service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, the royals will continue to observe a period of mourning, during which they will wear black, for several days.