King Charles Announces New Royal Role Ahead of Germany Trip, Following in Queen Elizabeth's Footsteps

The King has a new title, taking over the role from his mother

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; Queen Elizabeth II
Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage; Chris Jackson/Getty Images

King Charles has a new royal role previously held by Queen Elizabeth.

On Tuesday, Buckingham Palace announced that the King, 74, has become Colonel-in-Chief of the Corps of Royal Engineers.

The ceremonial post was last held by his mother, who died at age 96 in September. Queen Elizabeth last visited the corps at their Brompton Barracks base to celebrate the regiment's 300th anniversary in 2016. There, she inspected troops from the State Review Range Rover, posed for photos and received a salute from an underwater diver.

"Commonly known as the Sappers, the Corps was founded in 1716 and gained the prefix Royal in 1787. They operate at the forefront of innovation to provide global military engineering and technical support to the British Armed Forces and their allies," the palace said in a statement of Charles' new appointment.

Queen Elizabeth II, Colonel-in-Chief of the Corps of Royal Engineers, accompanied by Lieutenant General Sir Mark Mans (L) and Lieutenant Colonel Sean Cunniff (R), stands in the State Review Range Rover to inspect a parade of troops and equipment during a visit to the Corps of Royal Engineers at Brompton Barracks
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The announcement came with a photo of the King meeting Chief Royal Engineer, Lieutenant General Sir Tyrone Richard Urch at Buckingham Palace Tuesday.

The men had much to talk about, as the monarch is due to meet representatives from the Corps of Royal Engineers in Brandenburg, Germany during the first overseas visit of his royal reign, starting on Wednesday.

While plans remain unchanged for King Charles and Queen Camilla's trip to Germany, they will no longer be visiting France as planned. It was announced last week that the royal couple postponed the French leg of the tour due to increasingly violent riots across the country. Members of the public are protesting President Emmanuel Macron's plan to raise the retirement age, and CNN reports that Monday marked the tenth day of nationwide action.

King Charles III receives Chief Royal Engineer, Lieutenant General Sir Tyrone Richard Urch KBE during an audience at Buckingham Palace,
Victoria Jones - Pool/Getty Images

"The King and The Queen Consort's State Visit to France has been postponed," Buckingham Palace said in a statement last Friday. Their Majesties greatly look forward to the opportunity to visit France as soon as dates can be found."

The royal visit to France had been highly anticipated, glamorously capped with a glittering state banquet at Versailles.

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on November 22, 2022 in London, England. This is the first state visit hosted by the UK with King Charles III as monarch, and the first state visit here by a South African leader since 2010.
King Charles and Queen Camilla. Chris Jackson/Getty

The King and Queen Consort are set to visit Berlin, Brandenburg and Hamburg between Wednesday and Friday. They will receive a ceremonial welcome from President Steinmeier and Frau Büdenbender at the Brandenburg Gate (the first time any visiting head of state has received such a welcome at the site). The couple will also be guests of honor at a State Banquet, while King Charles will address the federal legislature, the Bundestag.

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The Queen Consort and Frau Büdenbender are set to visit the Komische Opera in Berlin to learn more about the company's outreach projects and community engagement. While in Brandenburg, King Charles will meet reps from the Corps of Royal Engineers and see a demonstration of their bridge-building amphibious vehicles.

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, waves as they leave Dunfermline Abbey, after a visit to mark its 950th anniversary, and after attending a meeting at the City Chambers in Dunfermline where the King formally marked the conferral of city status on the former town on October 3, 2022 in Dunfermline, Scotland.
King Charles and Queen Camilla. Andrew Milligan/Getty

It is now the couple's only scheduled trip abroad ahead of Charles and Camilla's May 6 coronation in London.

The tour was planned to "celebrate the U.K.'s relationship with France and Germany, marking our shared histories, culture and values," a palace spokesperson said when the visit was announced earlier this month.

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