Downing Street has confirmed that King Charles III will be joined by Liz Truss as he attends events in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales next week to mark the Queen’s death. But MPs privately believe the tour will also see the new Sovereign continue his mother’s legacy of keeping the United Kingdom unified through admiration for the Monarchy.
A Downing Street spokesman told lobby journalists at a briefing this afternoon the tour of Britain will begin shortly after the King has addressed the two Houses of Parliament for the first time as Sovereign on Monday morning.
As first revealed by Express.co.uk, at around 10am he will receive and then reply to formal addresses from the Lord Speaker and Speaker of the House of Commons in Westminster Hall.
Then, that afternoon, he will travel to Scotland where they will join Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, before heading to Northern Ireland on Tuesday.
He will return to London on Wednesday when his mother’s body arrives at the Palace of Westminster to lie in State for four days.
Then, he will travel to Wales on Friday – again with Ms Truss.
King Charles has made it clear that as monarch, like Queen Elizabeth II, he will rise above politics.
But many MPs are delighted his first actions paying respect to the four nations with the UK’s Prime Minister will also reinforce the late Queen’s desire to keep the Union of realms together.
In the 1970s, it was claimed that in a a speech to a joint sitting of the Houses of Parliament, Queen Elizabeth II made a subtle reference against Scottish independence in a very rare political intervention in her reign.
At the time, it was being threatened with a referendum on a new Scottish Assembly.
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As Prince of Wales, the new King Charles also made an effort to be a unifying figure for the whole UK.
He learnt Welsh at Bangor University and used the language when he announced that eldest son William and wife Catherine were being installed as the new Prince and Princess of Wales in his first address as King to the nation.
Previously, as heir to the throne he built bridges with the Scottish Nationalists and invited the former SNP First Minister Alex Salmond to Balmoral.
One senior MP said: “The Union of nations is as dear to the King’s heart as it was to his mother’s.
“He will not be political but in his actions he will promote a truly united Kingdom just as she did.
“It is highly symbolic that he and the PM are travelling together this coming week. The King is a unifying figure.”
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