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Celebrating the life of King Charles III with a showcase of soft power

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MUSICAL PERFORMANCES Talented students of the British School Manila

The British Embassy Manila held a regal and meaningful soirée last Nov. 14 to celebrate the birthday of King Charles III. More than just a celebration, it was a vibrant showcase of British food, drink, and culture—a night of soft power.

Over 500 guests attended the event including Philippine government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, business leaders, and friends of the embassy from various sectors and industries.

“In celebrating the birthday of His Majesty the King, we also celebrate the many rich and diverse links between the UK and the Philippines, and our peoples,” British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils said during her speech. “The strength of the relationship between our two countries holds exciting prospects for the future—founded on strong partnerships and built on shared values. I am proud that we are working together to build a safer, greener, more prosperous, and more peaceful world.”

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A VERY BRITISH EVENING The Ambassador’s garden was the perfect venue to the event

She also shared that in London, just a few hours after the celebration in Manila, the King was set to host a reception for NHS workers at Buckingham Palace. At the event, King Charles extended his gratitude to 150,000 internationally trained nurses and midwives practicing in the UK. The reception, part of the celebration of 75 years of the National Health Service, saw the presence of health and care workers from the Philippines, including Philippine Ambassador to the UK Teddy Boy Locsin, members of the Filipino Nurses Association, and Philippine Nurses Association.

Wishing King Charles III good health, Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Antonio Morales also gave a speech at the event. “The King’s many advocacies, especially those related to wildlife and environmental protection resonate closely with the Filipino people,” he said.

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Usec. Morales also recalled the first time King Charles III, then the Prince of Wales, visited the Philippines back in 1997. “Then-President Fidel Ramos gave him a symbolic gift—a tiny primate called a tarsier—which snugly fit in the palm of His Majesty’s hand,” he shared. “His Majesty, of course, did not take the tarsier home, but the image of that encounter would come to symbolize, for the Filipinos, His Majesty’s concern for the environment, and help us raise global awareness on the plight of the endangered tarsier.”

The event, held at the British Ambassador’s official residence was beautiful outdoor affair that seamlessly blended tradition with a modern twist. Quintessentially British brands like Marks & Spencer and Lush were among the booths that provided displays and activities. A cake, bearing the royal insignia of His Majesty the King, was ceremoniously cut, followed by music performances from talented students of the British School Manila to wrap up the formal proceedings.

And what’s a royal celebration without a feast? Signature food and drinks from the four nations of the UK—England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland—graced the tables. From fish and chips and pastries to Indian food that has become part of the daily English diet were also part of the celebrations. And of course, gin and tonics were quite the fashionable drink for the evening.

The last time the UK threw a King’s Birthday Party was back in 1951. Fast forward to 2023, and His Majesty King Charles III, born on 14 November 1948, has ascended the throne as the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the Realms of the Commonwealth since May 6, 2023. The Coronation, a once-in-a-generation spectacle, marked one of the most significant cultural moments of 2023. It can be recalled that the Coronation Ceremony at Westminster Abbey was also attended by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and First Lady Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos.

While the King’s actual Birthday falls on Nov.14, the official birthday in 2023 was observed on the June 17 with The King’s Birthday Parade (“Trooping The Color”) held in London.

In addition to his official and ceremonial duties in the UK and overseas, King Charles III has championed a wide range of causes, spanning the environment, sustainable development, the arts, healthcare, and education for decades.

Cheers to a monarch who wears the crown with both grace and purpose!

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Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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