Hotline to Downing Street: What’s King Charles Doing with the “Red Box”?

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Hotline to Downing Street
What is King Charles doing with the “Red Box”?

Charles III takes over as the new king. all the duties of his late mother. Regular exchanges with the government are of course part of this. The traditional way of communicating has not changed for over 100 years.

With his new office comes new tasks for the British King Charles III. until. Now he has been photographed for the first time reading government documents from the famous Red Box. The monarch, who automatically succeeded his mother Elizabeth II on his mother’s death on September 8, can be seen sitting at an ornate desk in Buckingham Palace in the image released by the palace.

The “red box” with the government documents is on an upholstered furniture next to the table. Several papers with stamps and handwritten notes look out. In the background is a black and white photo of the king’s parents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

The red box is a kind of hotline to Downing Street, where the British Prime Minister is. The British monarch receives daily updates on important government events and activities. Laws that must be signed before they can go into effect are also carried in luxury manufacturer Barrow Hepburn & Gale’s lockable red boxes.

While all government boxes are stamped with the royal lettering, the Queen’s personal box is engraved with “The Queen”. The king will have his own stamp. Regarding the Bax’s history, the manufacturer shared that the box’s role in the government process “hasn’t changed in over a century.”

Briefcase full of black pudding

According to the manufacturer, there are two theories for the iconic red color. The widely accepted reason goes back to Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s consort, who reportedly preferred the color as used prominently in the coat of arms of his family, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

The curious second statement dates back to the 16th century and to Queen Elizabeth I. Queen Envoy Francis Throckmorton presented the Spanish ambassador, Bernardino de Mendoza, with a specially made red briefcase filled with black pudding. Since the action was seen as an official announcement from the Queen, the color red became the official state color from then on.

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