Royal Ascot 2023 and 2024: King Charles III Celebrates Honors Ceremony
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Royal Ascot 2023 and 2024: King Charles III Celebrates Honors Ceremony

Royal Ascot 2023 and 2024: King Charles III Delighted to Be Back Honoring Distinguished Recipients

Published: May 14, 2024, 2:38 PM BST | Updated: May 14, 2024, 2:52 PM BST

Dame Jilly Cooper, the acclaimed author of the “Riders” and “Rivals” series, met with King Charles III at Windsor Castle as he conducted his first investiture ceremony since December. The prolific writer, who was awarded a damehood for her contributions to literature and charity, shared that the monarch appeared delighted to be back handing out honors.

“The King said congratulations and how pleased he was. He was very sweet,” remarked the 87-year-old Dame Jilly, who has just published her 52nd book. “I told him how well I thought he was looking and ‘the country loves you so much.’ He seemed very pleased. He looked really, really well and was very jolly.”

The King, who is still undergoing treatment for cancer, is starting to undertake more public engagements again. Today’s investiture ceremony, while on a slightly smaller scale than usual, saw the King personally greet each of the 52 recipients, including the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order for his key role in last year’s Coronation.

Dame Jilly, a long-standing friend of Queen Camilla, expressed her excitement and honor at receiving the damehood, sharing, “When the letter arrived, I couldn’t believe it. I was alone in the house and my hands were shaking.” She also hinted that the Queen may have advocated on her behalf, stating, “It would be lovely if she had.”

As the author revealed she is currently working on a book about Sparta, where adultery was not punishable by death, the spotlight also shone on the King’s enthusiastic interest in the upcoming Royal Ascot races. “He asked if I was going to Royal Ascot because he thinks he might have a good horse this year,” Dame Jilly disclosed.

With the royal family’s unwavering dedication to serving the nation, the investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle underscored the enduring connection between the Crown and the people of the United Kingdom. As the country eagerly awaits the 2023 and 2024 editions of the prestigious Royal Ascot event, the King’s vibrant presence and support for the arts and sports continue to captivate the public’s imagination.

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