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British Royals

State Visit in jeopardy as King Charles gives nod to general election

The decision of the Prime Minister to call an election on July 4th 2024 puts a long awaited State Visit in peril.

The Emperor and Empress of Japan are set to make a State Visit to the UK in June. However, a general election could put that on hold.

Despite the pomp and ceremony of State Visits, and the focus on royal ceremonial such as the carriage processions and the State Banquet, the trips are important political events, designed to strengthen ties between the two countries involved. The Prime Minister is present with The King and Queen for the official welcome and hosts the incoming Head of State at Downing Street for meetings.

Other high ranking government officials, including the Foreign Secretary, take big roles while the leaders of major political parties are involved in the ceremonial. Whether such events can continue during the pending period ahead of an election campaign will need to be clarified.

The exact dates of the State Visit haven’t been made public. At the time it was announced, Buckingham Palace only said that the trip would be ‘’in June’’.

However, given The King’s diary ahead that month, the later weeks are more likely. Trooping the Colour is on June 15th 2024 while the service for The Order of the Garter takes place on June 17th 2024. Royal Ascot runs from June 18th until June 22nd 2024.

It could mean yet another delay for this important State Visit. The Emperor and Empress were originally invited to make their trip in 2020 but the pandemic meant it had to be postponed. As the global health crisis receded, the Platinum Jubilee meant that the State Visit couldn’t be rescheduled for summer 2022 and the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September that year meant it had to be delayed until mourning was over.

Now, the UK’s political situation could see the State Visit put back yet again. Further clarification will be issued in due time.

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.