UK Royal Family: What does the King do?

Prince Charles was crowned King Charles III at Westminster Abbey in May 2023 alongside his wife, Queen Camilla.

On 7 November, he gave his first King's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament since becoming monarch.

In May 2022 he delivered the Queen's Speech on behalf of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The King is the UK head of state, but his powers are largely symbolic and ceremonial, and he remains politically neutral.

He receives daily dispatches from the government in a red leather box, including briefings ahead of important meetings, or documents needing his signature.

The prime minister normally meets the King on a Wednesday at Buckingham Palace.

These meetings are completely private, and no official records are kept of what is said.

The King also has a number of official parliamentary roles:

In addition,

The King also hosts visiting heads of state - - and regularly meets foreign ambassadors and high commissioners.

For his first state visit, Charles visited Germany, speaking in both English and German.

The King also travelled to France , and to Kenya for a four-day state visit in October, .

Charles is also head of the Commonwealth, . He is head of state for 14 of these, known as the Commonwealth realms, as well as the Crown dependencies - the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

The Queen on behalf of the 90 charities she supports.

The Royal Family receives an annual payment from the taxpayer, known as the Sovereign Grant,

The amount is based on a proportion of the profits of a property business owned by the monarch but run independently. It had assets worth £16.5bn in 2022.

The Sovereign Grant But total spending for the year was £107.5m, a 5% increase on the £102.4m spent the previous year, with more than £20m drawn from financial reserves to cover the shortfall.

The King also receives money from a private estate called which is passed down from monarch to monarch. It covers more than 18,000 hectares of land, including property in central London. Worth £654m, it generates about £20m a year in profits.

The Duke of Cornwall (currently William, Prince of Wales) benefits from which mainly owns land in the south-west of England. Worth £1bn, it generated a net surplus of £24m in 2022-23.

The King and William receive the profits from the duchies personally, and can spend the money as they wish. Both voluntarily pay income tax on the proceeds.

In addition, some other Royal Family members have private art, jewellery and stamp collections which they can sell or use to generate income as they wish.

In May 2023, Charles and Camilla were crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury in front of more than 2,000 guests,

During the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, the King was anointed with "holy oil", and received the orb and sceptre, symbols of royalty.

Afterwards, huge crowds lined the streets of central London to watch featuring more than 4,000 members of the armed forces from the UK and the Commonwealth.

Take That and Katy Perry headlined which also featured the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Ballet, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Opera.

On the final day of Coronation celebrations, while 30,000 charities arranged 55,000 events as part of

More than 60 protesters including the head of the anti-monarchy group Republic, Graham Smith.

Two months after the Westminster Abbey Coronation, the King was presented with the Scottish crown jewels,

He was given the sword, orb and the crown worn by Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1543,

The service was followed by a 21-gun salute from Edinburgh Castle and a flypast by the Royal Air Force's Red Arrows.

Thousands lined the Royal Mile, in Scotland's capital, to watch the procession,

The order of succession sets out which member of the Royal Family takes over as monarch when the existing one dies or abdicates. First in line - the heir to the throne - is the monarch's eldest child.

Since Royal succession rules were amended in 2013, sons no longer take precedence over their older sisters.

King Charles's heir is his elder son, the Prince of Wales.

William's eldest child Prince George is second-in-line to the throne, and his daughter Princess Charlotte is third. Her younger brother Prince Louis is fourth and Prince Harry is fifth.

A YouGov opinion poll of more than 2,000 adults in Britain ahead of the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's death

Overall, 62% wanted to keep the monarchy, with 26% backing an elected head of state.

But while 80% of the over-65s supported the monarchy, only 37% of 18 to 24-year-olds agreed.

Similarly, 75% of the over-65s believed the Royal Family was good value for money, but only 34% of 18 to 24-year-olds felt the same.

In terms of King Charles's performance, 59% thought he was "personally doing a good job".

A decade earlier, the same survey found 17% wanted an elected head of state.

There was also less support for the royals in Scotland or Wales than in England, where London has higher levels of people against the monarchy than elsewhere else in the country.

The King and Queen's official residence, Buckingham Palace, so they continue to split their time between Clarence House in London and Highgrove in Gloucestershire.

Other include Windsor Castle, Sandringham, in Norfolk, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, in Edinburgh, and Balmoral Castle, in Aberdeenshire.

In August 2022, the Prince and Princess of Wales moved from Kensington Palace in west London

Read the latest from our royal correspondent Sean Coughlan -

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