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British Royals

Public celebrations and private commemorations – the Royal Week, in pictures

An historic week for the Royal Family has come to an end. The Scottish Coronation, which saw King Charles III presented with the Honours of the country, brought pomp and ceremony while the many tributes to the National Health Service on a milestone anniversary gave a chance to celebrate those who do so much to help others. And the summer weather brought time for tennis, polo and cricket. Here’s the royal week, in pictures.

Scotland’s King given all Honours

King Charles III received the Honours of Scotland in a ceremony steeped with tradition. After a People’s Procession through Edinburgh, His Majesty was presented with the oldest Crown Jewels in the UK as well as a new Sword of State made for the ceremony and named in honour of Queen Elizabeth, the first of her name to rule the Scots.

i-Images/ Pool

Queen Camilla and the Prince and Princess of Wales watched as The King followed centuries of royal tradition and placed his hand on the Crown of Scotland to promise to serve. An RAF flypast ended an historic day in Edinburgh.A

A little summer night’s music to mark the Coronation

Sgt Donald C Todd/ UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023

The annual musical celebration by the Massed Bands of the Household Division took place in the week and this year, the theme is Coronation. On the day that The King was presented with the Honours of Scotland, the Duchess of Edinburgh was at Horseguards to hear the bands play. Sophie, who is Colonel of the Royal School of Army Music, took part in the concert which follows a typical Beating Retreat.

Sgt Donald C Todd/ UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023

The following evening, the Princess Royal enjoyed the final concert of the year. The Household Division’s Military Musical Spectacular: ‘Orb and Sceptre’ featured music important to The King and Queen as well as a performance called ‘Knights of the Realm’ which included music by Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Mick Jagger and Sir Brian May as well as Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

A celebration of the National Health Service

Photo Courtesy of NHS Charities Together

The NHS turned 75 on the same day that King Charles was presented with the Honours of Scotland but the Royal Family had already begun its tributes to the organisation. The Prince and Princess of Wales got the birthday party started by attending a celebratory afternoon tea. Catherine waded into an age old debate by insisting on putting jam on her scone first but the main focus was on the medical experts and caregivers who work in the NHS.

Royal Family/ Instagram

The King and Queen visited the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh on the eve of the anniversary to meet staff and patients and hear about the work that supports over 850,000 people in Scotland. On July 5th 2023, the Princess Royal opened the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and the Department of Clinical Neurosciences for NHS Lothian.

Royal Family/ Instagram

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh attended a very special service at Westminster Abbey on the anniversary itself. Exactly three quarters of a century after the National Health Service was formed, on July 5th 1948, Edward and Sophie took part in a ceremony of celebration and commemoration at the ancient church. The Duchess later opened a new training academy for nurses and midwives at King’s College Hospital – even on special days, the work of the NHS continues.

Anyone for tennis?

Wimbledon TV screen grab/ fair use

It might have started slightly later than usual this year, but it didn’t take long for Wimbledon to capture everyone’s imaginations. While Prince George had enjoyed a day at the cricket with his dad, mum was off to the All England Club where she is patron. The Princess of Wales settled into the outside courts first of all, before rain stopped play, then it was off to the grandest stage of all. On Centre Court, the Princess led tributes to Roger Federer who retired from the game last year but whose long reign at Wimbledon as one of the greatest ever champions has won him a special place in many hearts. Days later, Catherine was cheering on her husband as he rode out victorious in a charity polo match.

A heartfelt tribute to a much respected soldier

Royal Family/ Instagram

The Duke of Kent has often been cited for his loyalty to the Crown but his military achievements were in the spotlight this week as a regiment made a special tribute to him to thank him for years of service. The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) dedicated their regimental drums to the Duke who is their longest ever serving Colonel-in-Chief. The Drumhead Service was held quietly at St. James’ Palace, London but members of the regiment soon made plenty of noise on social media to share their own tributes to a man held in the highest of esteem by his fellow soldiers.

Always something there to remind HM

Royal Family Twitter still/ fair use

The King and Queen spent the week in Scotland where they carried out a range of engagements that took them from a tartan factory to a rain soaked garden party and plenty of places in between. However, behind the smiles were moments of poignancy for this first Scotland Week of the reign of King Charles III wasn’t just about welcoming a new Monarch but remembering that which is now lost. There were many tributes to Queen Elizabeth II but The King’s feelings were perhaps closest to the surface as he toured HMY Britannia for the first time in his reign. He had spent so many times on the yacht, now a tourist attraction in Edinburgh, with his parents that it was a very strange homecoming for a man who had come to Scotland to make history. He took a tot of rum with the Yotties and shared some memories, all the time reminded that so much has changed in such a short time. In a week of celebrations, some commemorations were bittersweet to share.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.