King holds face-to-face audience with Chancellor as Kate engagement is announced

Charles met with Jeremy Hunt before Wednesday’s Budget as it was announced that the Princess of Wales would review Trooping the Colour on June 8.

Laura Elston
Tuesday 05 March 2024 13:32 GMT
The King meets with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt ahead of this week’s Spring Budget (Aaron Chown/PA)
The King meets with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt ahead of this week’s Spring Budget (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

The King has held an in-person pre-Budget audience with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt at Buckingham Palace.

Charles, who is being treated for cancer, continued with his duties as head of state on Tuesday morning.

Before a Budget is presented, the Chancellor of the Exchequer meets with the monarch, usually the day before the Government’s plans for the economy are delivered in a statement to the Commons.

The audience is traditionally a private one, but, this time, the King was photographed shaking hands with Mr Hunt in the Private Audience Room of the royal residence.

Charles, dressed in a blue suit and pale tie, was shown smiling broadly as he welcomed Mr Hunt to the Palace.

They were also shown sitting in chairs either side of a small antique table, with Charles looking more serious as he posed with his hands clasped together.

The slimmed-down monarchy has been under increasing pressure to remain visible in recent days, with conspiracy theories about the health of the Princess of Wales escalating on social media.

Tickets went on sale on Tuesday for the first major engagements announced for both the King, since his diagnosis, and Kate, following her abdominal surgery.

The Ministry of Defence on the Army’s official website said Charles would be attending the main Trooping the Colour ceremony on June 15, while the princess would review Trooping the Colour the week before on June 8.

Buckingham and Kensington Palace have yet to confirm their attendance.

It is understood planning for major royal events continues with organisers remaining flexible in the event of possible changes.

Kate, who is said to be continuing to do well, was finally seen on Monday for the first time since Christmas.

Paparazzi photographs published on the US site TMZ showed the 42-year-old princess wearing dark sunglasses and being driven in a car by her mother Carole Middleton.

She is not expected back on official duties until after Easter.

Speculation grew last week over what was happening behind the scenes when the Prince of Wales pulled out of the memorial service for his godfather King Constantine of Greece at the last minute due to a “personal matter”.

Charles has postponed all public-facing engagements after beginning treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer in February.

The Queen, meanwhile, is said to be taking a break this week on an overseas holiday, after continuing with her engagements since the King was diagnosed.

Charles, who only acceded to the throne 18 months ago, has faced a difficult start to 2024, with a three-night hospital stay for a procedure on an enlarged prostate, during which time his cancer – not prostate cancer – was discovered.

The royal family is also grieving following the sudden death of Thomas Kingston, the husband of the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent’s daughter Lady Gabriella Kingston.

Mr Kingston, 45, died at his parents’ home in the Cotswolds from a “catastrophic head injury” and a gun was found near his body, an inquest heard.

Mr Hunt is preparing to deliver his Budget on Wednesday.

He has signalled he wants to move towards a “lower tax economy” in a hint at a pre-election giveaway to voters in the form of a national insurance or income tax cut.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in