King Charles pictured for first time with iconic red despatch box

·2-min read

King Charles has been pictured with his red despatch box for the first time.

The image shows the King carrying out official government duties in the Eighteenth Century Room at Buckingham Palace.

Red boxes contain papers from government ministers in the UK and the realms, as well as Commonwealth representatives.

Documents are sent from the private secretary's office to the King, wherever he is around the world, in a locked, red despatch box.

These include papers which require a signature, briefing documents and information about forthcoming meetings.

In the picture, Charles III is sitting at a desk. Papers, one tied with a ribbon, are next to him.

A black and white photograph of the late Queen and Duke of Edinburgh is also shown, given to King George VI for Christmas in 1951 by the couple.

Previously, luxury British leather goods company Barrow Hepburn & Gale confirmed that boxes for King Charles were in production.

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On 11 September, a spokesman for the firm said the King would initially receive more than six boxes, which would carry the new royal cypher.

It is possible that 10 to 12 boxes will be made and delivered in phases over the coming months.

Every box, the price of which is never released, has its own coded lock and is designed to last for many years.

In September 2015, the Royal Family Facebook account said the Queen received red boxes every day of her reign, including weekends, but not on Christmas Day.

The post said the Queen was still using boxes made for her coronation in 1953, which had been "periodically refurbished" to keep them in good condition.

Barrow Hepburn & Gale said the role of the boxes "has not changed for over a century".