Royal family cancels public engagements as UK PM Rishi Sunak calls surprise summer election for July 4

King Charles III has cancelled a string of engagements after the finalisation of the UK general election on July 4.

Livemint
First Published23 May 2024
Britain's King Charles III, centre left, and Queen Camilla during a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London. The British Monarch has cancelled a string of engagements following the election announcement
Britain’s King Charles III, centre left, and Queen Camilla during a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London. The British Monarch has cancelled a string of engagements following the election announcement(AP)

In the wake of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's surprise summer general election announcement, the royal family has postponed engagements “that may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign.” Rishi Sunak requested King Charles to dissolve Parliament to initiate the election. The Royal family's announcement came after the PM's request was approved.

Also Read: UK General Elections 2024: Why has Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for July 4 polls — explained

Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday that the King and Queen sent their “sincere apologies” to those affected by engagement cancellations due to general elections. 

The announcement of the July 4 vote disrupted a string of events planned for King Charles and other members of the royal family. However, the King and Queen's D-Day 80th anniversary appearances in Portsmouth and Normandy are expected to go as planned.

UK General Election on July 4

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a national election for July 4 on Wednesday. The announcement has ended months of speculation on the election date. The surprise election announcement on a date several months earlier than expected is seen as a risky strategy for his party, which is performing far behind Labour in the opinion polls. 

Also Read: King Charles health update: 75-year-old monarch reveals he has lost his sense of taste due to cancer treatment

"Now is the moment for Britain to choose its future and decide whether it wants to build on the progress we have made or risk going back to square one and no certainty," Sunak said during the election announcement.

“Over the next few weeks, I will fight for every vote, I will earn your trust and I will prove to you that only a Conservative government led by me will not put our hard earned economic stability at risk,” he added. 

Notably, Rishi Sunak is currently facing a massive decline in popularity among Britons. He is also somewhat isolated from many in his party. As a result, he is increasingly dependent on a small team of advisers to cope with an ugly election campaign. 

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