As weekends go, this one must be a pretty jolly one at Balmoral. If King Charles and Queen Camilla arrived back in Aberdeenshire with a spring in their steps, who could blame them? They touched down after a hugely successful State Visit to France which grabbed headlines around the world. In fact, it was a week to remember for all the right reasons for the Royal Family. Not even the rain as autumn got under way could put a dampener on this one.
In fact, nothing could obscure the fact that the three days Their Majesties spent in France had been a runaway win. The rapturous response and widespread praise for this State Visit seemed to take even the royals by surprise. King Charles and Queen Camilla had started this success story on a breezy Champs Elysees and from that moment, they blew everyone away.
King Charles may be the newest Monarch on the continent of Europe but, after seventy years of public life, there’s little doubt he’s already seen as an elder statesman and that showed in the success of this visit. The trip had been postponed in March as riots overtook France because of pension reforms proposed by Emmanuel Macron. Fast forward six months and that same President found himself bathed in cheers on streets that had been on fire earlier in the year and all because of the presence of a king.
But this wasn’t just about pretty pictures and great content for social media (although the Royal Family was on top of that game as well with The King starring in several short films expressing gratitude for the warm welcome given to him and The Queen). State Visits are all about extending ties between nations and the intense interest in this trip did just that. Queen Camilla launched a brand new literary prize which will celebrate work in both countries while the environment took a leading role in several engagements.
There’s little doubt that environmental issues are a number one concern for many and the wider reach of the Royal Family in this crucial area had meant the week started well for the Windsors. The Prince of Wales visited New York to announce the fifteen finalists for this year’s Earthshot Prize. Prince William also popped in on the UN where he met the Secretary General. All high profile events with a focus on the future of the planet. However, the old mystique of royalty continued, too, as the heir to the throne drew big crowds of his own.
Meanwhile, back in the UK, the Princess of Wales was at a charity changing lives in east London as well at RNAS Yeovilton which she visited for the first time as Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm, two high profile events which showed royal involvement in social and military matters. The Princess Royal continued her busy diary while the working royals continued their agendas with the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and the Duke of Kent out and about, too. Grass roots royal events ensuring a presence in different communities while The King and Queen led from the front with a State Visit to remember.
King Charles has been part of royal life long enough to know that good weeks come and go. But his determination to showcase the continuity of the Monarchy is evident and that continuity remains a great strength. Much has been made of a new reign, a new start, a new era but, ultimately, the Crown continues. The King has worked hard for the Monarchy and the country for decades. This week, he got a ringing endorsement and one that cemented his place on the national and international stage. He has emerged at the head of a Royal Family filled with confidence and covering all bases. No doubt a very good weekend was had at Balmoral indeed.