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How the U.K. General Election Will Impact the Royal Family

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Britain’s royal family will postpone certain engagements in light of the general election that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday.

In a Buckingham Palace statement, reported by Sky News, King Charles III and Queen Camilla said “the royal family will—in accordance with normal procedure—postpone engagements that may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign.” 

"Their Majesties send their sincere apologies to any of those who may be affected as a result," the statement added. 

TIME has reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment and further information.

Wednesday’s unexpected announcement saw Sunak reveal that elections will take place in the U.K. on July 4. In a speech from outside Downing Street, Sunak said the King had granted his request for the dissolution of parliament. 

The King and Queen will reportedly still carry out scheduled D-Day 80th anniversary appearances in Portsmouth and Normandy in June, according to Sky News. But further diary events will be subject to postponement. 

The King is scheduled to welcome the Emperor and Empress of Japan to London for a state visit at Buckingham Palace in late June. Other big calendar events for the royals this summer include Trooping the Colour, the official celebration of His Majesty’s birthday observed on June 15, and Royal Ascot, a week of horse racing attended by the royal family, set to take place from June 18 to June 22.  

It is currently unclear if these events will be postponed in the diary or carried out as planned.

The British monarch holds a weekly audience with the incumbent U.K. Prime Minister on Wednesdays. Since the King ascended the throne in September 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, he has worked with two Prime Ministers and could be on track for a third before the two year anniversary of his reign. 

Liz Truss was the Prime Minister at the time of the Queen’s death, a tenure that lasted around 45 days and secured her status as the shortest-serving politician to hold the U.K. government’s top role. Sunak was welcomed by the King around six weeks after ascending the throne. 

Truss and Sunak were both present at Charles’ coronation on May 6, 2023. Sunak, who describes himself as a Hindu, read from the bible during the multi-faith ceremony.

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