The King and Queen Consort were spotted for the first time since Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral as they drove near the Balmoral Estate this afternoon.
King Charles, 73, returned to the Aberdeenshire estate five days ago for the first time since his mother died peacefully at Balmoral Castle on September 8 aged 96.
Driving into the estate with Queen Camilla this morning, the king, still dressed in black as the royal family observes a period of mourning, looked serious.
The King and Queen Consort have been seen in public for the first time since the Queen’s funeral as they attend church at Crathie Kirk, near Balmoral
The Queen Consort, 75, wore a largely black outfit as the royal family observes a period of mourning, but she appeared to be wearing a tartan skirt
The royal couple attend a service at Crathie Kirk, a small parish church in the Scottish village of Crathie, near the estate.
This is where the Royal Family always go to church when they live at Balmoral, suggesting that the King and Queen Consort currently live there.
King Charles’ first public appearance since the state funeral of his late mother Queen Elizabeth II on Monday follows an official portrait of the hard-working monarch released by the royal family on Friday evening.
The portrait, which was taken last week, shows the king sitting in the 18th Century Room at Buckingham Palace, going through documents from the Red Box.
In the photo, 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 as he carries out his royal duties.
The King and Queen Consort appeared serious as they headed to Sunday services at the church in Aberdeenshire, in their first visit to the Balmoral Estate since the Queen’s death
The king appeared in public for the first time since his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, was buried at the King George VI Memorial Chapel in Windsor
The king has been working hard since his mother’s death, but has been relatively quiet for the past week as the royal family mourns privately
The King’s Range Rover drove into Crathie Kirk church, where they attend Sunday services, while in residence on the Balmoral Estate
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.
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.
‘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.’
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
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.
“The documents are sent from the private secretary’s office to the king, wherever he may be residing, 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.