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FirstFT: King Charles embarks on tour of nations to fortify the UK

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Good morning. King Charles III will embark on a tour of the United Kingdom this week, in a public show of commitment to the architecture of the UK as it comes under increasing strain.

The new King will address both houses of parliament in London today before embarking on a programme of visits to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

This will begin in Edinburgh, where the body of the late Queen Elizabeth II arrived yesterday after a six-hour procession from her Scottish summer retreat of Balmoral witnessed by large crowds along the route.

Liz Truss, the new British prime minister, will accompany King Charles at church services during his tour under the terms of long-planned official arrangements. Some constitutional experts warned that her presence risked politicising events designed to cement the King’s pointed promise to serve his subjects “wherever you may live in the United Kingdom”. Pro-independence analysts questioned the wisdom of allowing Truss to add a political dimension to the King’s first UK tour.

“It’s a strategic mistake for Charles III early on because royalty is meant to be apolitical,” said Gerry Hassan, professor of social change at Glasgow Caledonian University and author of Scotland Rising: The Case for Independence, due to be published later this month.

After leading a procession that will take his mother’s coffin up Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral today, King Charles will meet Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, and join a session of the Scottish parliament involving a motion of condolence.

The King will visit Northern Ireland tomorrow, and will travel to Wales on Friday.

Queen Elizabeth II met countless people during her 70 year reign. Did she ever come to your workplace or community? Please share your story via a short form. — Sophia

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The day ahead

European Central Bank conference The ECB’s seventh annual research conference begins today, featuring presentations by leading economists.

Economic reports India releases its August consumer price index and July industrial production figures; the UK releases its GDP estimate and trade figures for July.

Corporate earnings Oracle will release its Q1 earnings today.

Covid-19 vaccines in the EU The European Court of Auditors will publish a special report today on the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines in the EU

What else we’re reading

Elizabeth II: an appreciation by Simon Schama The UK’s longest-serving monarch was so much more than a head of state. She was quintessential Britain, writes the historian and broadcaster.

Inside the royal finances Elizabeth II was one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, but she had limited ability to profit from or sell many of the assets over which she presided. “The Queen’s fortune” is in fact a number of highly regulated areas, most of which now pass to her successor.

After Elizabeth II’s death, what happens next? The Queen’s death has raised a host of questions about the mourning process. Read the FT’s short guide on the funeral, the mourning period, and what King Charles is up to this week.

King Charles III, a life-long apprentice, steps into the spotlight Never in British history has a monarch had so long to prepare for the role. But the new king, who has previously revealed so much of his opinions and emotional life, may no longer be as outspoken on the subjects he has previously championed.

Montage of King Charles III
© Joe Cummings


As we enter a new season and reassess our wardrobe needs, personal stylist Anna Berkeley advises which clothes are worth the investment.

Models wear Max Mara classic coats backstage at the brand’s show in Milan
Models wear MaxMara classic coats backstage at the brand’s show in Milan © Getty Images

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