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A Speech by His Majesty The King at the Presentation of Loyal Addresses by Privileged Bodies

Published 9 March 2023

You underpin the very foundations upon which our country is built

The King

Much has changed since the Privileged Bodies and Corporations of the United Kingdom last gathered over a decade ago to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. It has been a time of political uncertainty and a terrible pandemic. Beyond our shores, war has returned to Europe. And globally, the challenge of climate change and biodiversity loss is more urgent than ever before.

For my family, our nation and the Commonwealth, the death of my dear mother and our late Queen, was a profound loss. During her life, she remained a constant source of inspiration for us all, and I know what great support she drew from your loyalty and devotion. She took particular pleasure in her association with each of your organisations, valuing and admiring the contributions you made, individually and collectively, to the fabric of our nation during her long reign.

I am so very pleased, therefore, that you have come here today to take part in this tradition of presenting your Loyal Addresses, all of which I have read with immense interest. This opportunity to respond allows me to express my personal appreciation, as well as my admiration, for all the work that you and your colleagues continue to do.

Whether in the fields of education, science, or the arts, or whether as representatives of the faith communities or of civic organisations, you advance our knowledge and our understanding of how we relate to each other and the world about us. You underpin the very foundations upon which our country is built and help to construct a framework of excellence and achievement within which our civil society functions and our national narrative can be formed.

In doing so, you are admired around the world for your contributions to public life.  You remind us of an essential truth - that a nation’s wealth and strength can be found, beyond the size of its economy or its place in the geopolitical landscape, in the values that it embodies – mutual respect, diversity, tolerance, fairness and friendship. These are values that have been at the core of British life throughout our history, and which, with your dedicated support, I trust will remain so for centuries to come.

And I can assure you that your strong support will sustain me in the future, as it sustained my late mother and father in the past. That is why, together with The Queen Consort, I wish to express my deepest gratitude for the generosity with which you have renewed your pledges of loyalty and affection today.