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King and Queen say nation’s support ‘greatest coronation gift’ as official portraits released

 (Hugo ,  Burnand/Buckinham Palace)
(Hugo , Burnand/Buckinham Palace)

The King and Queen have called the nation’s support “the greatest possible coronation gift” as they release official portraits marking the end of historic celebrations.

King Charles III has issued a statement following the three-day festivities, re-pledging to a life of service and thanking “countless people” who worked tirelessly to make sure coronation celebrations went smoothly.

Traditional official portraits marking the coronation of Charles and Queen Camilla were also released on Monday to round off the monarchy’s crowning.

Among them, the King was captured in his full regalia. He wore the Imperial State Crown, holding the Orb and Sceptre with Cross, and dressed in his regal purple tunic and Robe of Estate, seated on a Throne Chair in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace.

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 standing with the King and Queen in the images by Hugo Burnand.

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.

The King, signing his words Charles R, said he and Camilla gave “our most sincere and heartfelt thanks to all those who have helped to make this such a special occasion”.

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”.

“To those who joined in the celebrations – whether at home, at street parties and lunches, or by volunteering in communities – we thank you, each and every one.”

 (PA)
(PA)

On Monday Prince Louis turned into a labourer as he joined Prince George, Princess Charlotte and the Prince and Princess of Wales by shovelling dirt, pushing wheelbarrows and operating a digger as they helped out at a Scout Hut in Slough as part of the national volunteering drive to mark the coronation.

While the King and Queen had a 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.

Photographs from the day show Louis and George joining their dad at the controls of a digger in Slough.

Kate watched over her son, telling him to shovel in a “bit more” and when the barrow was a quarter full, Louis wheeled it away to help volunteers building a path and made a number of runs.

The young royals beavered away helping renovate the 3rd Upton Scouts Hut as the adults reset a path, dug a new soakaway, sanded and revarnished a door, screwed together planters and created a mural as a lasting legacy of their work.

Across the country people were encouraged to devote some free time on Monday for the Big Help Out, aimed at showcasing volunteering.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty were among them, chopping fruit and vegetables in the dining room of Mill End Community Centre in Rickmansworth.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (PA)
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (PA)

But the cost of the coronation weekend - expected to be more than £100 million - has been criticised by some political groups and individuals including Scotland’s First Minister.

Some people will be rightly uncomfortable over the amount spent on the occassion during a cost-of-living crisis, Humza Yousaf said.

Speaking after he had been present when the King was crowned at Westminster Abbey, Mr Yousaf said: “I made it pretty clear that I hope that the costs would be kept to a minimum.

“I think most people watching, whether they’re republicans or whether they’re monarchists, would want the costs kept to a minimum.”

He added: “I think a number of folk will have felt uncomfortable with the costs that were involved.”