The King and The Queen Consort visit East London
Published 01 March 2023
Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort today visited the heart of the British Bangladeshi community in Brick Lane, meeting charities and businesses.
Brick Lane is at the heart of the East End and is one of London’s most iconic streets. Historically it's been home to French Huguenot and Jewish immigrants, and now it's a centre for the Bangladeshi community. Along with its rich heritage, Brick Lane is known for its food and the famous selection of curry restaurants. The short stretch of Bangladeshi restaurants at the southern end of Brick Lane is known as Banglatown, home to many annual street festivals including the Boishakhi Mela, the Brick Lane Festival and the Curry Festival.
At Altab Ali Park, Their Majesties met individuals who were actively involved in the anti-racism movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The King and The Queen Consort also spoke to young people who have worked on projects related to anti-racism, the preservation of Bangla language and representatives of the Altab Ali Foundation.
Altab Ali was a young Bangladeshi man murdered at the age of 25, stabbed on 4 May 1978 in Adler Street by three teenage boys as he walked home from work. To commemorate the death of Altab Ali, Their Majesties then planted a tree during today's visit to the area.
Welcomed by primary school children and locals to Brick Lane, The King and The Queen Consort saw the Banglatown arch and a new street mural 'The Land is Calling', commissioned as part of the Bangladeshi 50th Anniversary celebrations.
At the Graam Bangla Restaurant, Their Majesties met women who are involved in the British Bangladeshi Power & Inspiration organisation, demonstrating the strength and diversity of women of Bangladeshi heritage today.
The King and The Queen Consort then walked to Brick Lane Mosque, where they met a local author and heard about the unique history of the building from a Church to a Synagogue to the present Mosque. The Mosque is at the heart of Brick Lane's community today, representing stories of immigration, identity, and community aspiration. It provided vital services to the community throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns including 24-hour funeral services at the height of the pandemic.
This afternoon, The King continued their visit to East London to mark the University of East London's 125th anniversary. As part of the visit, His Majesty opened The Hospital & Primary Care Training Hub at the University, which will train future generations of NHS professionals and work towards tackling health inequalities across the United Kingdom.
His Majesty heard from current students and teaching staff about the state-of-the-art facilities, and how the new hub will transform university-level training for frontline medical roles. The hub has a range of wards that simulate clinical wards such as Accident and Emergency and Intensive Care, to enable students to undertake their training in an environment that replicates real-life situations.
The King also spoke to students taking part in practical assignments on a range of wards such as the Intensive Care Ward and the multi-professional Healthcare Ward. The Intensive Care Ward simulates a fully operational intensive care unit using Virtual Reality and simulation technology, whilst the multi-professional Healthcare Ward trains students from disciplines including nursing, podiatry, sports therapy and occupational therapy.
The Hospital and Primary Care Training Hub is also home to the BabyDevLab, where babies and their caregivers can take part in child and parent friendly psychological research, using wearable tech, with the aim of understanding how babies think and behave. The Lab is involved in a range of pioneering projects, including how babies’ language and attention develops in the early years of their lives.
In the University's Great Hall, The King will toured an exhibition curated by students working towards pioneering advances in sustainability. The University of East London has a range of courses across the University’s departments which focus on sustainability, including the BA in Sustainable Fashion and Management and the MSc in Sustainable Tourism Development & Management. His Majesty met students exhibiting their own projects and heard how the University itself is committed to becoming carbon-neutral by 2030.
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