The King turns 75

Published 14 November 2023

His Majesty's birthday was marked with the launch of a new project to tackle food waste, as well as some special celebratory moments.

The King

The launch of The Coronation Food Project

Inspired by His Majesty's work with food waste and educating young people about food supply, The Coronation Food Project seeks to bridge the gap between food waste and food need across the UK, helping people and helping the planet.

The King and Queen in Didcot

The launch took place at the South Oxfordshire Food and Education Alliance (SOFEA), part of the FareShare network which distributes surplus food to charities. 

Since its launch in 2014, SOFEA has helped over 400 young people gain qualifications, skills and work experience whilst helping to transform their local communities through projects such as community larders and food surplus distribution.

Their Majesties met staff and volunteers, hearing about the ways food waste can be used for social good. Surplus food is redistributed to 120 community organisations in need across Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Wiltshire. 

With the help of The Coronation Food Project, food networks across the UK will be supported to reuse greater amounts of surplus food.

After a short conversation about the positive impact of SOFEA on the local community, The King and Queen will move to four packing stations where staff and volunteers will be packing surplus food which will be distributed to a range of community organisations. At this point, Richard Kennell will explain the type of surplus food that is normally received at the centre, the organisations and families which benefit from it and how The Coronation Food Project can make a difference.

Their Majesties viewed chillers storing fresh food, watched FareShare food vans being loaded with goods for distribution and visited a kitchen garden on the site.

Parties at Highgrove and Dumfries House

On the eve of The King's birthday, His Majesty attended a party held in his honour at Highgrove, at which guests were also either turning 75 or representing an organisation which was marking its 75th year, including the NHS and members of the Windrush generation.

A similar event was held at Dumfries House in Scotland, attended by guests nominated for work in their local communities.

The King at Highgrove


The Big Issue

Though The King's birthday marked the official launch of The Coronation Food Project, the initiative had been announced the week before in The Big Issue, featuring a new portrait by legendary photographer Rankin. 

#NHS75 Reception

In the evening, The King hosted a reception to celebrate nurses and midwives working in the UK as part of this year's events to mark 75 years of the National Health Service. 

#NHS75 Reception

Over 400 nurses and midwives attended from the multitude of backgrounds and cultures which contribute to the UK’s Health and Social Care Sector. In addition to British nurses and midwives, His Majesty met a selection of the 150,000 international nurses and midwives currently working in the UK, including those from India, Philippines, Poland and Kenya. His Majesty also met refugee nurses and representatives from International Nursing and Midwifery Associations.

#NHS75 Reception

The reception ended with a surprise birthday song, performed by the NHS choir. Throughout the National Health Service’s (NHS) 75 years, international staff have supported patients in their time of need, making the NHS one of the world’s most diverse workforces. Beyond nursing and midwifery, international recruitment has played a valuable role in helping grow the adult social care workforce.

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