The King appeared in great spirits as he attended a special gala performance at the Royal Opera House to celebrate out-going Music Director Sir Antonio Pappano this evening.

It’s been a busy few days for King Charles who carried out his fifth engagement in 48 hours – a star-studded garden party at Buckingham Palace – yesterday, and the monarch is showing no signs of slowing down. 

Charles, who is still undergoing treatment for cancer, is said to be delighted that his doctors have given him permission to undertake more public engagements again.

His Majesty, 75, became Patron of the Royal Opera House in 2009 and is a huge fan of the arts, so it’s no surprise that he looked in his element enjoying such a poignant tribute to one of the most respected composers in the country. 

The special one-off gala performance, celebrating Sir Antonio Pappano’s 22-year tenure as Music Director, featured renowned opera singers such as Aigul Akhmetshina, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel, as well as The Royal Opera Chorus and The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

Beaming King Charles reacts as he meets with the cast of the special gala performance for Sir Antonio Pappano

Beaming King Charles reacts as he meets with the cast of the special gala performance for Sir Antonio Pappano

King Charles shakes hands with Sir Antonio Pappano. The King appeared in great spirits as he attended a special Gala performance at the Royal Opera House

King Charles shakes hands with Sir Antonio Pappano. The King appeared in great spirits as he attended a special Gala performance at the Royal Opera House

King Charles walks next to Antonio Pappano this evening at the Royal Opera House in London

King Charles walks next to Antonio Pappano this evening at the Royal Opera House in London

The singers and orchestra performed the arias and music that defined Sir Antonio’s time as Music Director, spanning his 22-year career. 

After tonight’s show, King Charles, who put on a dapper display in a suit, met with the man of the hour, Sir Antonio, as well as principal artists and orchestra musicians to congratulate them on the performance.

Sir Antonio Pappano famously conducted the Coronation Orchestra last year and in recognition of his performance became Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in the New Year Honours 2024. 

Sir Antonio said of his involvement at the time: ‘I am deeply honoured to have been chosen by His Majesty to participate in the musical presentations that will embrace the historic occasion of his Coronation. 

‘His Majesty has chosen a most beautiful and varied programme that I believe will enhance the splendour of this very special celebration.’ 

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As well as a love for opera, King Charles is also a fan of the ballet, having been President of the Royal Ballet since 2003. 

It was announced by the palace last week that His Majesty will retain patronage of the Royal Opera House and The Royal Opera, as well as taking on his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II’s, longstanding patronage of The Royal Ballet. 

Oliver Mears, Director of The Royal Opera, told Opera Wire called the King retaining his patronage a ‘huge honour’. 

He said: It’s a huge honour that His Majesty The King has agreed to retain his patronage of The Royal Opera. 

‘Opera has a rich history and exciting future, and we’re delighted that His Majesty will continue his generous support to our world-class company.’ 

King Charles meets with the cast of a special Gala performance, on the day of an event celebrating Antonio Pappano's 22 years as Music Director at the Royal Opera House

King Charles meets with the cast of a special Gala performance, on the day of an event celebrating Antonio Pappano’s 22 years as Music Director at the Royal Opera House

His Majesty, 75, became Patron of the Royal Opera House in 2009 and is a huge fan of the arts, so it's no surprise that he looked in his element enjoying such a poignant tribute to one of the most-respected composers in the country

His Majesty, 75, became Patron of the Royal Opera House in 2009 and is a huge fan of the arts, so it’s no surprise that he looked in his element enjoying such a poignant tribute to one of the most-respected composers in the country

The special one-off gala performance, celebrating Sir Antonio Pappano's extensive 22-year tenure as Music Director, featured renowned opera singers such as Aigul Akhmetshina, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel, as well as The Royal Opera Chorus and The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

The special one-off gala performance, celebrating Sir Antonio Pappano’s extensive 22-year tenure as Music Director, featured renowned opera singers such as Aigul Akhmetshina, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel, as well as The Royal Opera Chorus and The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

The King put on a charming display as he attended the occasion in the British capital today

The King put on a charming display as he attended the occasion in the British capital today

After tonight's show, King Charles met with the man of the hour, Sir Antonio, as well as principal artists and orchestra musicians to congratulate them on the performance

After tonight’s show, King Charles met with the man of the hour, Sir Antonio, as well as principal artists and orchestra musicians to congratulate them on the performance

The Royal Opera’s Executive Director Alex Beard added: ‘For more than six decades, we have benefitted from the dedicated support of the Royal Family, and we are extremely grateful to His Majesty for continuing to recognise the work we do to bring world-class ballet and opera to audiences across the country and around the globe.’

King Charles and Queen Camilla last visited the Royal Opera House together in November for a performance of ‘Don Quichotte’, which was put on in aid of NHS workers. 

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The performance was hosted by legendary ballet dancer Darcey Bussell and BBC presenter Petroc Trelawny, with the show broadcast as a live cinema stream into 1,000 cinemas across the UK and across the globe. 

Buckingham Palace released a statement about the outing, which read: ‘The Queen shares His Majesty’s love of ballet and, as the Duchess of Cornwall, became Patron of Elmhurst Ballet School in 2006. 

‘Her Majesty is also Vice-Patron of the Royal Academy of Dance and takes ‘Silver Swan’ ballet classes for older learners.’ 

Meanwhile, the Queen revealed today that the King is ‘getting better’ before joking: ‘Well, he would be if he behaved himself.’

The King appeared in his element as he chatted to cast members at the Royal Opera House

The King appeared in his element as he chatted to cast members at the Royal Opera House

The monarch was all smiles as he spoke with the cast of the special gala performance

The monarch was all smiles as he spoke with the cast of the special gala performance

The King (pictured this evening) had been undertaking state business and royal duties tirelessly behind the scenes since his diagnosis, and has now been given the green light to attend more events in public

The King (pictured this evening) had been undertaking state business and royal duties tirelessly behind the scenes since his diagnosis, and has now been given the green light to attend more events in public

Antonio Pappano poses with the glamorous cast of the special gala performance in London

Antonio Pappano poses with the glamorous cast of the special gala performance in London

Charles (pictured this evening), who is still undergoing treatment for cancer, is said to be delighted that his doctors have given him permission to undertake more public engagements

Charles (pictured this evening), who is still undergoing treatment for cancer, is said to be delighted that his doctors have given him permission to undertake more public engagements

Camilla, 76, was chatting to guests at a garden party at Lamb House in Rye, East Sussex, where she was treated to a performance by actors Timothy West and Hayley Mills.

The King packed in five major events in 48 hours earlier this week alone – and his wife revealed that he was ‘quite cross he could not be there’, but had been ‘dragged away to more menial tasks’.

She was visiting Lamb House, home of the author EF Benson, on a literary-themed day of engagements in Sussex.

The Queen has made no secret of her frustration that her husband is working too hard, but sources say she understands and accepted his prodigious work ethic.

The King had been undertaking state business and royal duties tirelessly behind the scenes since his diagnosis, and has now been given the green light to attend more events in public.

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He is also set to lead the Royal Family at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show next week, as previously revealed by the Mail.

It comes after reality TV host Maya Jama tried to recruit a new fan when she asked the King if he watches Love Island during a Buckingham Palace garden party celebrating the creative industries.

Charles laughed and made jokes with guests as he joined the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Duchess of Gloucester in the palace garden on Wednesday.

Jama, 29, introduced herself as a TV host and said: ‘I host Love Island. I don’t know if you’ve watched it? It’s a reality dating show.’ Laughing, the King quipped in response: ‘There’s one born every minute.’

When asked about her future plans, she told him: ‘I’m just about to go to Spain to film some young people snog someone.’

Other celebrity attendees included documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux, Hollywood director Sir Ridley Scott and artist Tracey Emin.

King Charles and Camilla dressed up in matching shades pf pastel pink for the Creative Industries Garden Party at Buckingham Palace yesterday

King Charles and Camilla dressed up in matching shades pf pastel pink for the Creative Industries Garden Party at Buckingham Palace yesterday

King Charles is all smiles for a chat with Maya Jama and Campbell Addy at the Buckingham Palace garden party yesterday

King Charles is all smiles for a chat with Maya Jama and Campbell Addy at the Buckingham Palace garden party yesterday

The King and Queen attend a service of dedication for the Order of The British Empire at St Paul's Cathedral on May 15, 2024 in London

The King and Queen attend a service of dedication for the Order of The British Empire at St Paul’s Cathedral on May 15, 2024 in London

Approximately 4,000 representatives from the world of culture, art, heritage, film, TV, radio and fashion were in attendance.

Charles, wearing a grey suit and pink waistcoat and top hat, smiled to the gathered crowd as he entered the garden from the palace.

Camilla wore a pale pink fringed coat dress by Anna Valentine with a co-ordinating Philip Treacy hat, and accessorised her outfit with the late Queen’s pink diamond flower brooch.

The royal couple stood at the top of the garden steps to observe the national anthem before the crowd applauded. Charles and Camilla then greeted groups of attendees separately.

The King has been receiving treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer since early February but has returned to public duties including conducting his first investiture ceremony for five months at Windsor Castle on Tuesday.

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