Advertisement

King Charles' 'Hot Equerry' Shifts Role Out of Public Eye Following Online Frenzy

Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson has shifted into a new royal role away from the spotlight

<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty</p> Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson attends the 2023 Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 13, 2023 in London.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson attends the 2023 Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 13, 2023 in London.

King Charles’ right-hand man Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson is moving into a less public role after becoming a viral sensation for his dashing good looks at the coronation celebrations.

On Thursday, The Times reported that the senior aide famed as “the hot equerry” has transitioned into a new post following the frenzy. A palace source told the outlet that Thompson, 40, “remains senior equerry to the King and the Queen, in a more executive and less public-facing role”.

The Times outlined that the dedicated equerry is “understood not to have enjoyed the public attention he received after attending several high-profile events with the King.” He was most recently seen escorting the royals to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene at Sandringham on Christmas Day, and is now expected to work outside of the public eye to support the King, 75, who is receiving cancer treatment.

<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty</p> Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson attends the 2023 Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 13, 2023 in London.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson attends the 2023 Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 13, 2023 in London.

Related: Queen Camilla Steps Out with Lesser-Known Working Royal amid King Charles' Cancer Diagnosis

Footage of Thompson went viral on social media after King Charles’ accession in September 2022. The hysteria was seemingly sparked by a clip of the suit-clad solider entering the gates of Buckingham Palace a few days after the death of Queen Elizabeth, which has since been viewed over 8.6 million times on TikTok.

<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty</p> Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson attends a ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade for the President and the First Lady of the Republic of Korea on day 1 of their state visit on November 21, 2023 in London.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson attends a ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade for the President and the First Lady of the Republic of Korea on day 1 of their state visit on November 21, 2023 in London.

“I saw ‘Major eye candy,’ ” blogger UK Travel captioned the clip of Thompson apparently on his way to work, and the nickname stuck.

Thompson is a member of the 5th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland, and stepped into the spotlight in the summer of 2018, when he escorted Queen Elizabeth for a battalion review at Balmoral Castle. He rose through the ranks to become the monarch’s most senior bodyguard, and was promoted to Super Equerry to King Charles upon the Queen’s death in September 2022, Tatler reported.

<p>Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty</p> Queen Elizabeth and Major Johnny Thompson at the gates of Balmoral in 2018.

Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty

Queen Elizabeth and Major Johnny Thompson at the gates of Balmoral in 2018.

He's been by the King’s side ever since, from greeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at Buckingham Palace last February to joining the King and Queen Camilla on their first state visit abroad, playing a prominent role during their May 6 coronation at Westminster Abbey and more. The equerry memorably kept a watchful eye over Prince George and Charles’ other three Pages of Honor at the crowning as they carried his ceremonial robes, and was on hand as the newly crowned King handed off his scepter following the church service.

Related: Who Is Major Johnny Thompson? All About King Charles' Equerry — and Why He's Gone Viral!

<p>Sina Schuldt/picture alliance via Getty</p> The newly crowned King Charles and Major Johnny Thompson on May 6 coronation day.

Sina Schuldt/picture alliance via Getty

The newly crowned King Charles and Major Johnny Thompson on May 6 coronation day.

The aide lit up the internet on coronation day, and a video of him helping the King change robes at Westminster Abbey was viewed over 113,000 times on X.

“Wouldn't this guy make a brilliant James bond!” a commenter swooned, while another called for him to be crowned.

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty</p> Vice Admiral Sir Tony Johnstone-Burt and Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson attend day one of Royal Ascot 2023 at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2023.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Vice Admiral Sir Tony Johnstone-Burt and Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson attend day one of Royal Ascot 2023 at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2023.

Thompson’s star continued to shine, and Tatler ranked him third on its Social Power Index last June. The magazine shouted out his “fabulous sense of humor” and looking “as good in a suit as he does a kilt,” referring to his regiment’s uniform.

According to The Times, Thompson was promoted from major to lieutenant colonel last year — and he might have a new love interest. Earlier this month, he stepped out holding hands with Olivia Lewis, a PR executive he reportedly met while working for the King and Queen.

The Daily Mail reported that Thompson and his wife separated almost two years ago, adding that he and Lewis are said to be “well matched and very happy.”

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.