King set to carry out first major investiture since diagnosis

The King is expected to carry out his first major investiture on Tuesday since being diagnosed with cancer.

Charles will knight the Archbishop of Canterbury for his key role in the coronation, and bestow a damehood on bestselling author Dame Jilly Cooper.

The monarch, who was given permission by his doctors to return to public duties last month, will greet 52 recipients one by one at Windsor Castle.

Review of the Year 2023
The Archbishop checks St Edward’s Crown is in place correctly after crowning the King (Aaron Chown/PA)

Although it will be his largest indoor ceremony for many months, the investiture is on a slightly smaller scale than usual.

Around 60 people, and sometimes more than 70, are typically invested with their honours, watched by their chosen guests.

It will be the first investiture ceremony the King has conducted for five months, with his last one taking place on December 19, a month before he was admitted to hospital for treatment on his prostate.

Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace
The King attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace last week (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby has been made a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) for his personal service to the Crown during the coronation at Westminster Abbey in May.

Awards of the Royal Victorian Order are in the King’s gift and are bestowed independently of Downing Street to people who have served the monarch or the royal family in a personal way.

The archbishop conducted the service for the coronation and had the momentous task of anointing and crowning the King and the Queen.

The Oldie Lunch
Camilla with Jilly Cooper at The Oldie Luncheon in 2022 (Chris Jackson/PA)

Dame Jilly, who is being honoured for services to literature and to charity, is known for her steamy fiction focusing on scandal and adultery in upper class society.

Her hit titles include Riders, Rivals, Polo, Mount! and The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous, along with her most recent work Tackle!

Dame Jilly is a long-standing friend of Queen Camilla, and the author based her fictional seducer Rupert Campbell-Black partly on Camilla’s ex-husband Andrew Parker Bowles.

King Charles III coronation
The King and Queen in the Gold State Coach during the coronation procession (David Rose/The Telegraph/PA)

Other recipients being honoured for their role in the coronation include the Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Rev Dr David Hoyle, who was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO), and Household Division Brigade Major Lieutenant Colonel James Shaw who has become a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO).

Lt Col Shaw, on the horse Sovereign’s Shadow, led more than 4,000 servicemen and women in the grand coronation procession from the Abbey to the Palace which saw Charles and Camilla travel in the Gold State Coach after the historic ceremony.

Labour’s Dame Margaret Beckett, who is standing down at the next election after 40 years representing Derby South, will be made a Dame Grand Cross.

The King, who is receiving treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer, has invested a handful of people with honours over the past few months, but this took place in private during individual audiences at royal residences.