Europe

King Charles pulls all-nighters as part of ‘relentless schedule’

King Charles greets well wishers at Aboyne in Scotland

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As part of his packed schedule, King Charles goes to bed well after midnight and never takes a break for lunch, according to his former press secretary. Since rising to the throne, the monarch has multiplied royal engagements, meaning his operations must be carefully planned and organised. That includes everything from his breakfast to dinner, Julian Payne has revealed.

He told The Mirror: “The King doesn’t eat lunch; so, an early lesson I learnt when out on the road with him was to have a big breakfast or bring a few snack bars with you to keep you going.

“The working day is pretty relentless. Beginning with the radio news headlines and a breakfast of seasonal fruit salad and seeds with tea.”

Amid royal duties and planned visits, his household is expertly managed by a small but devoted staff, most of whom have worked for him for decades.

The average day includes back-to-back 45-minute sessions on his charity’s upcoming tour or a discussion with Sir Clive Alderton, his primary private secretary.

His work is compiled into a fresh six-month logbook twice a year. The King takes a break from his “relentless schedule” at 1pm. However, he does not spend it eating but going on a stroll.

Mr Payne explained: “The King dislikes being inside for too long and always has the windows wide open.”

The monarch waits until 5 pm to finally have his first major break of the day and to relax with the Queen Consort while enjoying some sandwiches and fruit cake.

Leftovers from cakes and sandwiches will be stored in a Tupperware box and will resurface the following day and the day after that.

The monarch’s day is still far from over as he returns to his desk to start on the pile of papers that, despite his PAs’ best efforts, never seem shrink. Dinner is at 8.30pm sharp. Despite the late hour, he returns to his desk at 10pm, usually until well after midnight.

Mr Payne said the King’s habit of staying up late extends to public appearances, where his gregarious demeanour and willingness to chat with a large number of people means they can last for hours.

One famous example is said to have occurred at a James Bond premiere several years ago, when it took him longer than expected to finally speak to Daniel Craig because he was busy conversing with set designers and security guards.

His mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, also had an incredibly busy schedule with countless tours overseas over the course of her reign and numerous official visits. In the month leading up to her catching Covid-19 in late October 2021, the then 95-year-old monarch planted a tree at Balmoral Cricket Pavillion to mark the start of the Queen’s Green Canopy, travelled to Holyrood to mark the official opening of the sixth session of the Scottish Parliament and met members of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery at Windsor Castle, amid a flurry of other royal engagements.

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Her Majesty the Queen also returned to her royal duties only four days after her husband, Prince Philip’s death, to host a ceremony at Windsor as William Peel formally stood down as Lord Chamberlain.

Taking over from her, the King will head to France in late March as part of his first foreign visit, with the monarch expected to rebuild the UK’s relationship with France which hit “rock bottom” after the Johnson and Truss Governments.

Lord Peter Ricketts, the UK’s former ambassador to France, told the i Paper the Government advised the King to pick France as his first foreign destination in a bid to build bridges that were all-but-burned by former prime ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.

During the summer’s leadership contest, Ms Truss infamously refused to say whether Mr Macron was a “friend or a foe”, stating instead “the jury is out”.

Mr Johnson, meanwhile, had a spat over Brexit and Australia abandoning a submarine deal with France in favour of the Aukus security pact with the UK and United States had already poisoned relations.

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