The King visited Milton Keynes at it celebrated being granted city status
At the Church of Christ the Cornerstone in Milton Keynes, The King attended a reception to mark Milton Keynes’ new status as a city with the local community, including volunteers, innovators and faith leaders.
Eight places across the United Kingdom became cities as part of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022. These are Bangor, Colchester, Doncaster, Douglas, Dunfermline, Milton Keynes, Stanley and Wrexham. The former towns each made a bid for city status as part of the Platinum Jubilee Civic Honours Competition and were asked to showcase their communities and local identity, as well as highlight their Royal associations.
Inside the Church, His Majesty met a range of community groups representing charitable, business, faith, environmental and arts organisations in Milton Keynes. Some of the organisations represented will include MKIAC (Milton Keynes Islamic Arts, Heritage and Culture), Milton Keynes Theatre, Bletchley Park, the Open University, the local Council of Faiths, and Ride High, which aims to improve the lives of disadvantaged children through opportunities to ride and look after horses locally.
The King also gave a speech as city status was officially conferred:
So ladies and gentlemen, as you mark your well-deserved status as one of England’s newest cities, I can only offer my heartfelt congratulations and my very best wishes for the future.
The visit finished with a plaque unveiling and rendition of Amazing Grace, performed by Milton Keynes-based soloist Emily Haig. Amazing Grace was written by Anglican clergyman and poet John Newton in Olney, a small market town in Milton Keynes, in 1772.
Milton Keynes Food Bank
The King visited Milton Keynes Food Bank to see the support they provide to communities across the city.
Established in 2004, the MK Food Bank relies on more than eighty volunteers to package and transport food to locations across Milton Keynes. In 2022 alone, the MK Food Bank gave out over 22,000 emergency food parcels and provided support to almost one in 30 households across Milton Keynes.
His Majesty was shown MK Food Bank’s new Mobile Top-Up Shop which allows individuals to ‘top-up’ their supplies at eight priority locations across the city, and the MK Food Bank helplines, which was created in lockdown and allows users to access food vouchers remotely.
The King also heard from representatives of The Felix Project, who recently received a donation of fridges and freezers from The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund. The Felix Project have donated a community fridge/freezer to one of MK Food Bank’s serving centres, the Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes, which supports rough sleepers and anyone at risk of homelessness.