The King and Diplomacy

As Head of State, The King plays a vital role in UK diplomacy, supporting the work of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office at home and abroad.

King Charles III receives Francella Strickland, the High Commissioner of Samoa

When he was The Prince of Wales, His Majesty visited many countries at the request of the UK Government, and continues to do so as King. 

The King and Queen in France

The King also welcomes hundreds of world leaders, ambassadors and other members of the diplomatic community for State Visits, Audiences and other engagements at Royal Residences every year. 

King Charles III and US President Joe Biden in the Grand Corridor at Windsor Castle

The Diplomatic Reception, which takes place annually, sees The King and Queen and other members of the Royal Family welcome over 500 members of the Diplomatic Corps in the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace.  

The King and Queen at the Diplomatic Reception

His Majesty also regularly welcomes Ambassadors and High Commissioners based in London for Audiences, which are one-to-one meetings with The King.  

There are more than 170 Ambassadors and High Commissioners based in London at any given time and each one of them will have an Audience with The King shortly after taking up his or her role.

The King and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

The King is in regular contact with officials at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), which looks after British interests overseas and builds diplomatic ties with other countries. 

The FCDO advises on which foreign Heads of State should be invited to the UK on State Visits. The King and the Royal Family are responsible for hosting the Head of State and his or her party with a ceremonial arrival and a State Banquet to welcome them.

The Princess of Wales, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, The King and Queen, during the State Banquet held at Buckingham Palace for the State Visit to the UK by the South African President.

Members of the Royal Family in support of The King

Members of the Royal Family support The King’s role as Head of State and regularly undertake overseas visits at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on behalf of The King. These visits tend to celebrate the ties and shared interests between the UK and other nations. 

Members of the Royal Family occasionally take on a special role for which overseas visits can bring much needed awareness to a particular issue. The Duchess of Edinburgh works with survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, alongside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as part of her work on the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative. 

During State Visits and key diplomatic events such as Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings and significant anniversaries,  the entire working Royal Family comes together to warmly welcome visiting Heads of State. 

The King and Queen, The Prince and Princess of Wales and the President and First Lady of the Republic of Korea