Picture by i-Images / Pool
King Charles and Queen Camilla have begun their whirlwind agenda for the week preceding the Coronation with a reception for members of Parliament at Westminster Hall.
The King arrived first at the Palace of Westminster, where he was welcomed by the Lord Great Chamberlain, Lord Carrington, and the Lady Usher of the Black Rod, Sarah Clarke.
His Majesty was then presented to the Speakers of the two Houses, Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle, and the Lord Speaker Lord McFall of Alcluith, as well as receiving the welcome of Prime Minister Rishi Sunek and the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer.
Following a rendition of the National Anthem, King Charles had an opportunity to chat and mingle with the roughly 800 guests present for the reception, many of whom did not make the list of guests at the Coronation ceremony itself.
According to reports, the King talked about some of his main interests, including agriculture, business and community.
Queen Camilla joined the reception later on, and had a chance to speak with some parliamentarians about her own primary interests, which include literacy, domestic violence and osteoporosis.
This reception opened the schedule for a busy week before the Coronation. It was also held in a poignant space. Westminster Hall was the scene of parliament’s reception for King Charles just days after his accession. It then became the final viewing place for Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin before it was transported to the nearby Abbey for the State Funeral.
It was also significant that the first of many receptions and audiences was with members of Parliament, in a gesture that signifies the balance of powers between the parliamentary/legislative branch and the Monarchy, the institution that represents the United Kingdom all over the world.
His Majesty then held an audience with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who arrived in the British capital to attend the Coronation of his country’s Head of State, and a video call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.