The King and Queen Consort arrived in Scotland yesterday for a short break to mourn the loss of the late Queen.
But sources close to the monarch said he was ‘buoyed’ by the outpouring of public support in recent days.
His staff are now busy behind the scenes putting project Grandfather of the Nation into full swing.
The Daily Mail revealed last week that while he has no ambition to step into his late mother’s shoes, given her unique qualities and the affection with which she was held in public life, he is hopeful that he can bring his age, wisdom and experience to the table to continue her legacy.
The King and Queen Consort arrived in Scotland yesterday for a short break to mourn the loss of the late Queen
Yesterday, the King, 73, and Camilla, 75, left Windsor Castle, where they stayed overnight on Monday following an emotional private interment, and swept into RAF Northolt in north-west London at just before 10.30am.
His police outriders removed their helmets and bowed while he boarded with his wife, with the plane arriving at Aberdeen at noon. Although the ten days of national mourning have now ended, the Royal Family are continuing to observe their own extended period of mourning until next Monday evening.
All their public engagements have been cancelled and the flags at royal residences will remain flying at half-mast until 8am on Tuesday.
The King and Camilla will spend at least the next week – and possibly even beyond – at Birkhall, the Queen Mother’s old home on Royal Deeside, whose estate lies next to Balmoral.
It will be an emotional return to Scotland, where the King and his sister, Princess Anne, were with their mother when she died on September 8. However, it is also likely to bring him great succour.
The King and Camilla will spend at least the next week – and possibly even beyond – at Birkhall, the Queen Mother’s old home on Royal Deeside, whose estate lies next to Balmoral
‘He is grieving for his mother as any loving son would, with all that entails on a human level,’ said a friend. Indeed, over the past ten days King Charles III has led his country in mourning, travelling some 1,900 miles and undertaking more than 30 engagements and public walkabouts the length and breadth of the country – even working on the eve of her funeral.
It was part of a long-standing plan known as Operation Spring Tide. He will, of course, continue to deal with the necessary affairs of state over the next few days, but away from the public eye.
Behind the scenes, however, work is well under way for a still very much ‘engaged, dynamic and enthusiastic’ Charles to pick up his relentless work schedule when his period of mourning is over.
It is expected that he will continue to support the many charities he has raised millions for over the years, but in a different way.
Sources close to the monarch said he was ‘buoyed’ by the outpouring of public support in recent days
‘He is incredibly mindful of the extra focus that comes from being the King and that things can’t carry on exactly as they were before,’ a source said.
His private office is already ripping up many of the plans it had in place, with a visit to flood-stricken Pakistan next month one of the first engagements to go.
But staff are also understood to be working out how to dovetail other existing commitments with the burden of his new duties.
It is something that no one felt in a position to do while the late Queen was still alive and Operation London Bridge, the Queen’s funeral plans, and Operation Spring Tide were still in full flow.
A source said: ‘The King is phenomenally thoughtful and passionate. The things he deeply cares about are still relevant, they haven’t become irrelevant because he is King. The difference is he will no longer be interventionist.
‘His hope is that he will be able to support and encourage and convene instead.
‘Staff will be carefully focusing on how to get the balance right.’
The court remains in mourning, and Clarence House, which has been Charles and Camilla’s home for many years, is where they feel most comfortable in London. But in the long term he has made it clear that Buckingham Palace will be their permanent residence
Charles is understood to have been ‘touched and encouraged’ by the public reaction in recent days, especially given some of the challenges he has faced over the years.
‘Anyone who has worked with him knows that rest and relaxation are not on his priority list,’ a former senior royal aide said.
‘It will require all the guile of his team and the Queen Consort to persuade him that he doesn’t have to take on everything at once.’
While the King will base himself at Buckingham Palace, sources said no one should expect ‘to see the removal vans outside Clarence House just yet’.
The court remains in mourning, and Clarence House, which has been Charles and Camilla’s home for many years, is where they feel most comfortable in London.
But in the long term he has made it clear that Buckingham Palace will be their permanent residence.