A new brass engraved die has been created to emboss King Charles’ cypher onto the red despatch boxes that the monarch traditionally receives most days. Luxury British leather goods company Barrow Hepburn & Gale produces both the die and the boxes, which the new King is expected to be handed several times over the coming months.
The die is made on a machine that has to run overnight night in order to create the cypher’s exquisite details.
It is then hand-finished and hand-polished before it is used to apply the gold leaf emboss of the cypher to the despatch boxes.
The brass die of the cypher has to be heated to a high temperature before an imprint of the cypher is applied to each box.
The famous royal red boxes contain many important documents, such as those that require the monarch’s signature, briefing documents and information about forthcoming meetings.
On its website, Barrow Hepburn & Gale say that the iconic boxes “follow their holder around the world, ensuring they can execute the responsibilities of their office”.
It added: “Wherever in the world the Sovereign or minister is, the red box is close by.
“Our despatch boxes are not only an elegant design, but are functional and secure.”
According to a Facebook post uploaded in September 2015, the late Queen received red boxes every day of her reign, including weekends, but not on Christmas Day.
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It added: “There are two possible reasons why the despatch box became the iconic red colour.
“The widely-accepted reason relates to Prince Albert, Consort to Queen Victoria, who is said to have preferred the colour as it was used prominently in the arms of his family, the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
“However, there is a school of thought with origins dating back to the late 16th century, when Queen Elizabeth I’s representative, Francis Throckmorton, presented the Spanish Ambassador, Bernardino de Mendoza, with a specially constructed red briefcase filled with black puddings.
“It was seen as an official communication from the Queen, and so the colour red became the official colour of the state.”