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Buckingham Palace releases official coronation portraits

<i>Hugo Burnand/Royal Household 2023/AP</i><br/>Britain's Queen Camilla poses for a photo in The Green Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace
Hugo Burnand/Royal Household 2023/AP
Britain's Queen Camilla poses for a photo in The Green Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace

By Max Foster and Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN

King Charles III and Queen Camilla have shared their “most sincere and heartfelt thanks” in a new message from the monarch released by Buckingham Palace on Monday, as the coronation long weekend comes to an end.

The newly-crowned sovereign wrote that he and his wife wanted in particular to pay tribute to those who helped make events in London, Windsor and beyond “as happy, safe and enjoyable as possible.”

“To those who joined in the celebrations – whether at home, at street parties and lunches, or by volunteering in communities – we thank you, each and every one,” King Charles wrote. “To know that we have your support and encouragement, and to witness your kindness expressed in so many different ways, has been the greatest possible Coronation gift, as we now rededicate our lives to serving the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and Commonwealth.”

In addition to the King’s message of gratitude, the palace released four new official photographs of the King, Queen and members of the royal family taken after Saturday’s historic coronation service. All were taken by renowned British photographer Hugo Burnand at Buckingham Palace.

One portrait shows the King photographed in the palace’s Throne Room dressed in the full regalia — the Robe of Estate and the Imperial State Crown while holding the Sovereign’s Orb and Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross.

He is seated on one of a pair of 1902 throne chairs that were built for use at King Edward VII’s coronation by future King George V and Queen Mary.

In a separate portrait, Queen Camilla was photographed wearing Queen Mary’s Crown and Robe of Estate in the Green Drawing Room.

The King and Queen also sat for a portrait together in the Throne Room.

Finally a fourth photograph was released of the King and Queen flanked by “working royals” — members of the family who carry out official duties on behalf of the monarch.

London-based Burnand has long held close ties to the royal family, having previously taken the official photos for both Charles and Camilla’s wedding in 2005, and William and Kate’s wedding in 2011. He’s also been privately taking photographs of Charles and Camilla for over two decades.

Burnand also took several photos of the King and Queen released by the palace ahead of the coronation.

The coronation of King Charles III on Saturday was a once-in-a-generation royal occasion, with thousands turning out in the streets of London to watch history in the making despite gloomy and wet weather conditions.

The service, rich in tradition and pageantry, was held at London’s Westminster Abbey — the nation’s coronation church since 1066.

Music underpinned the entire celebration, in keeping with history. Each stage was marked by either a grand choral work, an ethereal motet, an extravagant organ composition or an evocative melody, all performed by some of the most accomplished singers and musicians in the world.

The Duke of Sussex flew back to the UK for his father’s big day, sitting in the third row, wearing a morning suit with his military medals. He arrived alongside his uncles, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew, and two of his cousins, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

He did not appear later on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the customary appearance, instead catching a commercial flight back to Los Angeles to join the fourth birthday celebrations of his son, Prince Archie.

The occasion marked the first time the prince had publicly reunited with members of his family since the release of his controversial memoir, “Spare.”

The rest of the holiday weekend saw the sunshine return once more as thousands across the country took part in street parties and community lunches in celebration of the newly-crowned King. Others attended a jubilant coronation concert held in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Meanwhile on Monday, Prince Louis, the youngest child of the Prince and Princess of Wales, conducted his first royal engagement at the age of five, as part of the Big Help Out — a nationwide volunteering initiative marking the end of the coronation weekend.

The youngster, who is fourth in line to the throne, joined his parents and siblings, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, in helping to renovate a scout hut.

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