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King worked more days than his mother in first year as monarch

King Charles worked for more days and carried out more engagements than his mother in his first year as British monarch.

The King, who ascended to the throne on 8 September after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, has undertaken engagements on 161 days since becoming King, including travelling to all four nations of the UK and attending dozens of functions.

His mother, Elizabeth II, almost matches Charles, with 157 days of engagements in her first 12 months as Queen, though with a lighter workload and fewer visits.

But Charles has not quite equalled the pace set by his grandfather George VI, who managed 183 days of engagements in his first year on the throne.

The figures have been compiled by the PA news agency from issues of the Court Circular, the official record of the royal family’s daily activities.

The data shows that while some types of engagement are common to all three monarchs – a trip to Ascot races, garden parties – there are striking differences, reflecting changing times and attitudes.

Charles is recorded as having 26 official audiences with the UK prime minister since becoming King: five with Liz Truss – who resigned 48 days into his reign – and the remaining 21 with Rishi Sunak.

His mother clocked up almost the same number in the 12 months after becoming Queen in February 1952, with 27 audiences, all of them with Winston Churchill – the first of 15 prime ministers during her reign.

King Charles III following a service at Canisbay Church in Caithness in August


George VI had just 12 prime ministerial audiences in the year following his becoming King in December 1936, seven with Stanley Baldwin and five with Neville Chamberlain.

The PA news agency has classed a day with engagements as one where the monarch is recorded as undertaking at least one official visit, meeting or function, excluding non-official events such as attending church in a private capacity.

Charles made trips to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales within eight days of becoming King and has peppered the first year of his reign with visits across the country, including York, Wrexham, Manchester, Armagh, Selkirk and St Ives.

By contrast, Elizabeth II did not make an official visit to Scotland until June 1952, four months after becoming Queen, but she travelled to the royal residence of Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire in a private capacity in May.

George VI waited even longer to begin touring the country and did not make any major official trips until after his coronation in May 1937, five months into his reign, when he visited the naval fleet at Portsmouth.

By counting each official visit to a separate location as one engagement, and applying the same rule to each official meeting or audience with another person or group of people, it is likely that Charles has carried out more than 550 engagements since becoming King while his mother carried out just over 400 in her first 12 months as Queen.

Queen Elizabeth II greeting foreign leaders in October 2021


The pattern of Charles’s first year has also been different, making frequent public appearances with short bursts at royal residences.

Charles has made two trips abroad since becoming King: a state visit to Germany in March 2023 and a private visit to Romania in June. In comparison, Elizabeth II and George VI stayed in the UK for their first years but Elizabeth was in Kenya when she found out she became Queen in 1952 and was quickly rushed back to London.

This Friday (8 September) will be the first anniversary of the death of the late Queen, who died aged 96.

According to reports, the Prince and Princess of Wales will lead tributes to the late monarch on the anniversary of her death.

Prince William and Kate Middleton will reportedly deliver a message to Britons in honour of the Queen’s legacy. It is unclear, however, whether this will be made in person, broadcast on television, or released on social media.

Meanwhile, King Charles III is reportedly expected to spend his mother’s death anniversary “quietly and privately” at Balmoral in Scotland, where she passed away.

With additional reporting from Press Association

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