King Charles’ first sighting since Harry’s book includes an emblem of protection and a nod to folktale King who took secrets to the grave

King Charles was seen for the first time since Prince Harry’s Spare was published, and his choice of accessory could be sending a powerful message

King Charles was seen on his first engagement since Harry released his book, Spare
(Image credit: ANDREW MILLIGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

King Charles is back to it, seen out and about on royal duties for the first time since Prince Harry published his memoir, Spare. The book was much publicized as being a potential bombshell to the Royal Family, with some worrying what revelations Harry would reveal. While he has shared his somewhat negative thoughts on Camilla, the Queen Consort, Harry doesn’t write too unkindly about Charles as a father or a King. Still, His Majesty sported what appeared to be a sprig of heather in his lapel – a flower that can be an emblem of protection and good luck.

Never complain, never explain. That’s the mantra the Royal Family live by, and they’re proving just that as they get right back to work following the publication of Prince Harry’s Spare.

While the book did shed some light on the relationship between Harry and his father, including the heartbreaking plea the King made to his two warring sons, Harry’s memoir was somewhat less negative than many initially feared.

A lot of Harry’s ire was aimed at the British press, with Camilla getting some harsh words and Prince William being described as his arch-nemesis.

King Charles was sporting a huge grin as he met with Scots on his first engagement

(Image credit: Andrew Milligan/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Despite coming across better than expected in the book, there’s speculation that Harry will be written out of Charles’ coronation amid the ongoing public turmoil between the family. And this is why Charles might have opted for a subtle message in his first public appearance since the book was released.

During a visit to the Aboyne and Mid Deeside Community Shed in Aberdeenshire, Charles sported what looked like a sprig of heather in his jacket lapel.

The heather flower’s meaning comes from its genus name, Calluna, which stems from the Greek word kalluno, and means to cleanse. As well as being a cleansing image, heather has often been used as a symbol of protection.

Charles sported what appeared to be heather in his lapel

(Image credit: ANDREW MILLIGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

In the sixteenth century, Clan Ranald, a Scottish clan, believed that they won a battle because they wore white heather in their bonnets, which gave them both luck and protection.

Also in Scotland, it is common to include a sprig of white heather in a bride’s bouquet for good luck and to protect them through their life as a betrothed couple.

Heather is also an important element in a Scottish poem about a King who would rather die taking secrets to the grave than give them away.

The famed Scottish writer and poet, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Heather Ale tells the tale of Vikings and the Pictish King. As per the poem, the Vikings defeated the Picts army and cornered the king and his son on a cliff in an attempt to gain the recipe for Heather Ale. However, the King would rather be thrown off the cliff than give up the recipe – something which was important and personal to the tribe.

Charles didn't show any signs of stress as he kept a jovial nature

(Image credit: Andrew Milligan/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Charles wasn’t the only royal keeping calm and carrying on. Prince William and Kate Middleton also made their first official engagement of 2023.

The Prince and Princess of Wales paid a visit to the newly opened Royal Liverpool University Hospital where they thanked healthcare staff for their ongoing work through the tough winter months, and later toured a state-of-the-art medical facility.

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.