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The impact of the general election campaign on one of the busiest royal months of the year

The UK will vote in a general election on July 4th 2024 which means that, within days, parliament will be dissolved.

Weeks of intense campaigning will begin with politicians criss-crossing the country to try and win votes and, ultimately, the keys to Number 10 Downing Street for their party.

It means tough calls for media as they have to show a balanced view of all those campaigning for votes. And that means that high profile visits and events that would see leading government figures included put in question. Buckingham Palace said, within moments of the announcement, that public engagements would be considered so that royal activity didn’t distract from politics. So which big moments of June 2024 could be impacted by the general election campaign?

D-Day commemorations

World leaders gather in Normandy on June 5th and June 6th for the 80th anniversary of the D Day landings. King Charles is set to attend events as is the Prince of Wales.

It is understood the Royal Family will still attend these engagements.

Sovereign’s Birthday Parade

On June 15th 2024, Trooping the Colour takes place. The King is expected to take part by carriage, rather than on horseback.

This is another annual event that the Prime Minister usually attends. Questions arise as to whether Rishi Sunak can be present given that election campaigning will be well under way by then.

Chivalry and history

The Order of the Garter holds its annual service on June 17th 2024.

This is the second time King Charles will have overseen the ceremony as Sovereign of the Order.

The Prime Minister doesn’t usually attend. However, former PMs are currently members of the Order and so politicians will be present at this spectacular event.

Royal Ascot

One of the most glittering events of the royal summer is Royal Ascot. But while it’s a must be seen moment for many on the social calendar, politicians don’t attend in any official capacity.

This year’s meeting runs from June 18th until June 22nd 2024 with The King understood to be keen to attend.

Anyone for tennis?

It’s not unusual to see politicians in the royal box at Wimbledon but the first week of this year’s tournament will be a party free zone.

The world’s most famous tennis tournament takes place from July 1st 2024 and so even if any parliamentarians have got their hands on tickets, they’ll have to skip as the last few days of campaigning beckon.

However, with the Euros also on during the campaign and the current political passion for all things football, there’s still plenty of chance for politicians to pin their sporting colours to the mast.

State Visit from Japan

The biggest question mark over major royal events remains around the State Visit of the Emperor and Empress of Japan. Their Majesties are due to visit in late June.

However, with the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary always taking high profile roles in such visits with roles, too, for the Leader of the Opposition, it seems a distinct possibility that the trip will have to be postponed, again. It’s been on ice since 2020.

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