HIS Majesty King Charles III is the new Patron of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

The King, who has a "long history" with the life-saving charity, is succeeding Queen Elizabeth II in his patronage.

The Royal Family has been supporting the vital service since the 1820s.

Speaking about what it means to have the King's support, a RNLI Portishead spokesperson said: "We’re proud to announce that His Majesty King Charles III will be our new Patron, succeeding Queen Elizabeth II.

"Since 1824, The Royal Family has supported the RNLI’s purpose to save lives at sea.

"The King has a long history with the RNLI and has made several visits to lifeboat stations and sites over the years.

"His Majesty’s first ever RNLI engagement was in 1964, when, as the then Prince of Wales, His Royal Highness accompanied The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and The Princess Royal to Cowes, Isle of Wight to observe the sea trials of a new Waveney class lifeboat.

"During a visit to Atlantic College in 1971, His Majesty took the helm of a B-3 inflatable lifeboat and, with two crew members, made a 35-minute trip into the Bristol Channel in rough weather.

"In 2021, The King visited the RNLI College, Poole and was given a tour of our All-weather Lifeboat Centre, where our all-weather lifeboats are manufactured.

"His Majesty was able to inspect the progress of the Shannon class lifeboat Duke of Edinburgh being built in honour of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

"Last year, The King and Queen Camilla visited St Ives lifeboat station in Cornwall as part of Their Majesties’ first official visit to Cornwall following the Coronation."

RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie said: "All volunteers, supporters and staff will be extremely proud that The King has honoured the RNLI with His Majesty’s patronage.

"This is particularly so in the 200th anniversary year of the institution as we reflect on all that has gone before in the reigns of His Majesty’s forebears, together with the RNLI’s bright future as we head into our third century of lifesaving."

The RNLI has stations across the country, including Weston, Minehead, Burnham-on-Sea and more.