As King Charles settles into his role as monarch and head of state following his accession to the throne, he has shown how much he loves his mother, the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In a picture 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 he carries out his royal duties.
Most striking was the black-and-white photo of the Queen and Prince Philip, who sat on the side table behind the King’s desk as he worked to go through documents from his red box.
King Charles III was hard at work going through official documents from his red box during his first days as monarch after his mother’s death (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 going through documents from the Red Box every single day, apart from Christmas Day
According to the royal family’s Instagram account, which posted the picture of the king hard at work, the picture of the monarch’s late parents was a gift from them to King George VI in 1951 for Christmas.
The picture 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 September 9 from the Blue Drawing Room at 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 speech, he also told the nation how he will draw on 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 an example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe 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 present in 1951
The blue and purple flowers displayed just behind the red box appear to contain delphiniums, which symbolize remembrance of the lives of lost loved ones
The Queen was pictured going through documents from the Red Box several times over the years (pictured in 1972)
‘Queen Elizabeth was a life well lived; a promise with fate kept, and she is deeply mourned at her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.’
Royal fans may also have noticed a tribute to King Charles’ mother in the bouquet of flowers sitting behind the red box in the new photo.
The display of blue and purple petals appears to include sprigs of delphinium, a flower that has multiple meanings. Primarily, the delphinium is recognized as a sign of encouragement, joy and hope.
But 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 might argue that the image itself is a tribute to the King’s late mother, who was often pictured going through 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 the Song for Athena, which was performed at the funeral of Princess Diana as her cortège left Westminster Abbey on 6 September 1997
“The documents are sent from the private secretary’s office to the king, wherever he is, in a locked red mailbox.
‘Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth received red boxes, which were made at her coronation in 1952, almost every day of her reign, including weekends and bank holidays, but excluding Christmas Day.’
In almost every photo of Her late Majesty going through the documents, she is candidly depicted carefully reading through the briefing.
But 2022, which marked Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee year, saw a change in the late monarch’s red box image. Taken at the Sandringham Estate in February, the Queen is pictured smiling into the camera next to the red box and wearing a pale green outfit.
The King’s first Red Box photo, taken last week, mirrors the Queen’s earlier, more candid photos with the important documents.
King Charles’ clothing is also of significance as he and the royal family continue to observe a period of mourning. Although the photo was taken before the Queen was laid to rest at a state funeral at Westminster Abbey and the 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.