King and Queen say nation’s support ‘greatest possible coronation gift’

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The King and Queen have pledged to rededicate their lives to service as Charles called the nation’s support throughout the historic celebrations “the greatest possible coronation gift”.

As the weekend of festivities came to a close, Charles issued a special written coronation message, saying: “We thank you, each and every one.”

Traditional official portraits marking the crowning of Charles III and Queen Camilla were released to round off the monarchy’s landmark occasion.

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King Charles III and Queen Camilla (Hugo Burnand/Royal Household 2023/PA)

Camilla was pictured alongside the King, and also in a solo portrait, wearing Queen Mary’s Crown, with the train of her lengthy embroidered Robe of Estate spread in front of her.

The working royal family – the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Edinburghs, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke of Kent, the Gloucesters and Princess Alexandra – were also photographed stood with the King and Queen in the images by Hugo Burnand.

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The official coronation portrait of the Queen (Hugo Burnand/Royal Household 2023/PA)

The now-crowned monarch used his coronation message to issue an affirmation for the rest of his reign, saying he and Camilla would “now rededicate our lives” to royal service.

He added: “To know that we have your support and encouragement, and to witness your kindness expressed in so many different ways, has been the greatest possible Coronation gift, as we now rededicate our lives to serving the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and Commonwealth.”

The King also paid tribute to the “countless people who have given their time and dedication to ensuring that the celebrations in London, Windsor and further afield were as happy, safe and enjoyable as possible”.

The King's coronation message
The King’s coronation message (Buckingham Palace/PA)

The five-year-old royal tried his hand at archery, making hand prints on a mural, and ended the day splashed with paint but got his reward – a smore, a marshmallow and chocolate sandwiched between two biscuits.

Kensington Palace described it as the youngster’s first royal engagement.

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Prince Louis and the Princess of Wales join volunteers to help renovate and improve the 3rd Upton Scouts Hut in Slough (Daniel Leal/PA)

While the King and Queen had quiet day away from the public eye after Sunday evening’s Coronation Concert, other royals joined in the Big Help Out.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh helped at a puppy class for trainee Guide Dogs in Reading, while the Princess Royal attend a County Civic Service recognising local volunteers in Gloucester Cathedral.

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The Waleses during their Big Help Out event (Daniel Leal/PA)

“Everybody in the Royal Box was nervous when Miss Piggy would turn up,” he said.

“There was an empty seat just behind me and we didn’t know who it was for.

“We suddenly thought it could be her and once we started that rumour, everyone around us was very nervous.”

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Edward and Sophie, along with a four-month-old puppy named Lucy, take part in a puppy class at the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association Training Centre in Reading. (Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA)

Andrew, who was at the coronation in his Order of the Garter robes, paid millions to settle a civil sexual assault case last year.

The Duke of Sussex was also missing, no longer being a working royal, and having headed back to California shortly after the coronation ceremony.

Edward and Sophie were seen to be sweetly offering support to the late Queen’s cousin Princess Alexandra, who was smiling broadly, with both assisting her by holding her arms.

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The Duke of Kent, the Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Gloucester, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Princess Royal, the King and Queen, the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duchess of Edinburgh, Princess Alexandra and the Duke of Edinburgh (Hugo Burnand/Royal Household 2023/PA)

Camilla was next to the King, and on the other side of Charles was his sister the Princess Royal in military dress.

Former Tatler photographer Hugo Burnand – a favourite of Charles and Camilla’s – took the couple’s official wedding photos in 2005, and for William and Kate’s nuptials in 2011.

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