Dec tells King why Ant missed Palace reception

The King has been told by TV star Declan Donnelly that his celebrity partner Anthony McPartlin was missing from a Buckingham Palace reception because he was breastfeeding.

Donnelly, one half of the Ant and Dec double act, apologized to Charles on behalf of his friend McPartlin, who was looking after his newborn son.

The TV star was attending a reception hosted by the King which celebrated a group of young people who have turned their lives around with support from The Prince’s Trust.

The King with Declan Donnelly and Ali Astall during a reception for Prince’s Trust Award 2024 winners, supporters and ambassadors at Buckingham Palace (Chris Jackson/PA)

The event came before Rishi Sunak called a General Election for July 4, after the King granted his request by telephone to dissolve Parliament.

Donnelly said after meeting the King: “I passed on Ant’s apology that he couldn’t be here today because he was at home breastfeeding.”

He added with a laugh: “I don’t know whether I broke royal protocol by giving that information.”

McPartlin announced the birth of his son on Instagram with a black and white image of him holding his new son, Wilder Patrick McPartlin, close to his chest.

Commenting on rumors he was the newborn’s godfather, Donnelly said he had not been formally asked, adding “everybody else has presumed, I won’t presume.”

The King during a reception for Prince’s Trust Award 2024 winners, supporters and ambassadors at Buckingham Palace (Chris Jackson/PA)

The reception gave the King the chance to meet the winners at the Prince’s Trust awards – and he chatted to recipients and celebrities who had presented the awards, including actor Martin Freeman, Pixie Lott and Ellie Simmonds.

Gesturing to the award winners, Donnelly added: “All the young people behind us here, some incredible stories again about people getting their lives on track and making a real difference to their communities, and some incredible stories yet again.”

Commenting on the King, who has recently returned to public-facing events following his cancer diagnosis, the celebrity said: “He looked really well today.”

Donnelly added: “He was on good form, good spirits, always has a laugh and joke which is lovely, has a fantastic sense of humor and spent time with all the young people.”

At the end of the reception Charles went out into the Palace’s forecourt to see a pink rickshaw from India driven by a woman known as Arti, who won the Amal Clooney Women’s Empowerment Award.

The King chatted to Arti, a single mother from India, who struggled to make a living but joined the trust’s Project Lehar program which helped build her skills and confidence and introduced her to the Indian government’s pink rickshaw campaign, an initiative providing transport by women for women.

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