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Buckingham Palace releases first image of Charles carrying out official government duties 

King Charles has been pictured performing official government duties for the first time

King Charles has been photographed with his red box for the first time.

The image, taken last week, shows the King carrying out official government duties in the 18th Century Room at Buckingham Palace.

The red boxes contain documents from UK government ministers and realms, as well as Commonwealth officials.

Documents are sent from the private secretary’s office to the king, wherever he is in the world, in a red, locked shipping box.

These include documents that require a signature, briefing materials, and information about upcoming meetings.

In the photo, Charles is seated at a gold desk and reaches for important papers, one tied with a ribbon, in an open red box next to him.

In the background is a framed black and white photo of her parents, which they gave to George VI for Christmas in 1951.

King Charles has been pictured performing official government duties for the first time

King Charles has been pictured performing official government duties for the first time

The Queen (pictured in 2015) received red boxes every day of her reign, including weekends, but not Christmas Day

The Queen (pictured in 2015) received red boxes every day of her reign, including weekends, but not Christmas Day

Earlier, British luxury leather goods company Barrow Hepburn & Gale confirmed that boxes for Charles were in production.

On September 11, a spokesperson for the firm said the king would initially receive more than six boxes, which would bear the new royal cipher.

It is possible that ten to 12 boxes will be manufactured and delivered in phases over the next few months.

Each box, the price of which is never disclosed, has its own code lock and is designed to last for many years.

The company says on its website that its boxes “follow their holder around the world, ensuring they can perform their office responsibilities.”

He adds: “Wherever in the world the sovereign or the minister is, the red box is nearby.

‘Our shipping boxes are not only elegant in design, they are also functional and secure.’

In September 2015, the Royal Family’s Facebook account said the Queen received red boxes every day of her reign, including weekends, but not on Christmas Day.

In 2015, the Royal Family's Facebook account said the Queen (pictured in 1972) was still using boxes made for her coronation in 1953, which had been

In 2015, the Royal Family’s Facebook account said the Queen (pictured in 1972) still used boxes made for her coronation in 1953, which had been ‘periodically refurbished’ to keep them in good condition

British leather goods company Barrow Hepburn & Gale said the role of boxes

British leather goods company Barrow Hepburn & Gale said the role of the boxes “has not changed for over a century”. Pictured: Princess Elizabeth talks to her father, King George VI, as he walks through the royal boxes in a study at Windsor Castle

The message said the Queen was still using boxes made for her coronation in 1953, which had been “periodically refurbished” to keep them in good condition.

Barrow Hepburn & Gale said the role of boxes “has not changed for over a century”.

He added: “There are two possible reasons why the shipping box has become the iconic red color.

“The widely accepted reason relates to Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, who is said to have preferred the color as it was widely used in the arms of his family, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

“However, there is a school of thought whose origins date back to the late 16th century, when Queen Elizabeth I’s representative, Francis Throckmorton, presented the Spanish Ambassador, Bernardino de Mendoza, with a specially designed red briefcase built filled with black pudding.

“This was considered an official communication from the Queen, and so the color red became the official state color.”

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