King Charles III is first depicted with its red box. A carefully arranged photo taken last week shows the King conducting official government at Buckingham Palace.
Red boxes contain papers from government ministers in the UK and the wealthy, as well as Commonwealth representatives. Documents in a sealed red shipping box are sent from the private secretary’s office to the king, anywhere in the world. These include documents requiring a signature, briefing documents, and information about upcoming meetings.
In the photo, King Charles III is sitting at a desk with papers, including one tied with a ribbon, next to him. A black and white photo of the late Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh is also shown. It was given by the couple to King George VI for Christmas in 1951.
The image recalls one of the late Queen at her mailbox while she was in Balmoral in 1972. The Queen’s reign included many British governments under 14 Prime Ministers and dozens more in the Commonwealth. She received weekly briefings from the then Prime Minister and dozens of government documents passed her desk for formal approval every week.
Barrow Hepburn & Gale said the role of the boxes hasn’t changed in over a century. It added: “There are two possible reasons why the shipping box got the iconic red color.
The generally accepted reason relates to Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria, who reportedly preferred the color as prominently used in the arms of his family, the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
“However, there is a school of thought that dates back to the late 16th century when Queen Elizabeth I’s representative, Francis Throckmorton, handed over to the Spanish ambassador, Bernardino de Mendoza, a specially constructed red briefcase full of black pudding.
“It was seen as an official announcement from the Queen and so the color red became the official color of the state.”
The photo has been released as a new poll found support for the monarchy rose after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, who died in Balmoral on September 8 at the age of 96.
Nearly half of those polled by Ipsos on Tuesday and Wednesday said the UK would be worse if the monarchy were abolished. Less than a quarter said the country would be improved as a republic.
The poll of 1,000 adults found that 47 percent said the UK would be worse without a monarch, compared to 42 percent who said the same shortly after its platinum anniversary in June.
Only 22 percent said abolishing the monarchy would make the country better, the same percentage as in February and a slight drop from 23 percent in June.
In the longer term, support for a republic has risen slightly from 15 percent in March 2018, while support for the monarchy remains hovering around 45 percent according to polls.
Opinions about the monarchy are more divided among the 18 to 34 year olds.
Only 33 percent of young people believe the country would be worse without a monarch, while 32 percent believe the country would be better and 26 percent think it would make no difference.
Despite this ambivalence, a majority of the public now believes that the monarchy will last for another half a century.
About 56 percent of people now expect the monarchy to last at least another 50 years, up from 45 percent in March 2022.
The percentage saying Charles III will be a good king has risen from 49 percent to 61 percent, closer to support for the Prince of Wales, who 72 percent expect to do well as king when his time comes .