Royal Family postpones engagements that 'divert attention' from general election campaign

22 May 2024, 17:04 | Updated: 22 May 2024, 20:26

The Royal Family is postponing engagements "which may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign", Buckingham Palace has announced.

It comes after Rishi Sunak called a general election for 4 July.

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A statement from the King and Queen said: "Following the Prime Minister's statement this afternoon calling a general election, 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 King and Queen's D-Day 80th anniversary appearances in Portsmouth and Normandy in June are expected to go ahead as scheduled.

However, the announcement will disrupt other events in the carefully planned forthcoming royal diaries.

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The King could be set for the third prime minister of his reign.

His first prime minister was Liz Truss - but her stint in charge was the shortest in British history - and the King welcomed Mr Sunak as his second PM just six weeks after acceding to the throne.

The prime minister revealed he spoke with the King earlier on Wednesday to inform him of his decision and the King had agreed to the request for the dissolution of Parliament.

Buckingham Palace said the pair met in person at the royal residence in London following the monarch's Prince's Trust Awards engagement.

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They spent around 15 minutes together in the King's private audience room, in place of their normal weekly meeting on Wednesday evening.

Mr Sunak is not expected to visit the King again on Wednesday.