The King’s Birthday Party returns to Florence to celebrate HM King Charles III

The King’s Birthday Party returns to Florence to celebrate HM King Charles III

The British Ambassador to Italy, Edward Llewellyn, brings the event back to Florence.

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Wed 21 Jun 2023 10:49 AM

The third stage of the King’s Birthday Party celebrations in Italy was held yesterday in Florence. The toast to the British Sovereign returns to the Tuscan capital after four years, in memory of the important visit of the then Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in 2017.

The event, which took place just over a month after the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, was held on the terrace at Forte Belvedere, made available by the City of Florence. Back in 2017, the then Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, now King Charles III and Queen Camilla respectively, had spent most of their stay in Italy in Florence on the occasion of the Centenary of the British Institute of Florence. On that occasion, Mayor Dario Nardella hosted a gala dinner in Palazzo Vecchio, awarding the then Prince Charles with the title of Renaissance Man of the Year and presenting him with the Keys to the City.

The appointment in the Tuscan capital followed the event in Venice on May 24 and the one in Milan on June 6, and will be followed by events in Rome (June 22) and Naples (June 28). This year, the traditional celebrations were joined by a special occasion linked to the coronation of King Charles III on May 6 in Westminster Abbey, London.

British Ambassador Lord Edward Llewellyn

The King’s Birthday Party in Florence, hosted by the British Ambassador Lord Edward Llewellyn, was attended by around 200 guests, who savoured the atmosphere of the British Garden Party with a local touch given by the Frescobaldi wines, offered by Vittorio and Bona Frescobaldi, friends of His Majesty. The sound of traditional Scottish bagpipes opened the celebrations, followed by institutional speeches by Ambassador Llewellyn and the Deputy Mayor of Florence, Alessia Bettini, introduced by the traditional Florentine Gonfalone, with the accompanying fanfare of trumpets. After the greetings, an opera singer sang the national anthems of the two countries. During the evening, the guests were entertained by the musical performance of the Accademia Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, featuring elements of Ukrainian nationality. This was followed by the symbolic cutting of a cake with the coronation emblem and Buontalenti-flavoured ice cream from the historic Gelateria Badiani, which has 11 outlets in London. Scottish bagpipe music concluded the Anglo-Florentine evening. Present with a dedicated stand was a delegation of shopkeepers from the historic Sant’Ambrogio Market, symbol of Florentine food and wine excellence, which the King and Queen had visited in 2017. The celebration focused on tradition and modernity, such as the pairing between Parmigiano Reggiano, Scotch whisky and Victoria sponge cake, with an eye to an increasingly green future, thanks to eMoby and Treedom.

“I am delighted to be here in Florence today and I warmly thank the City of Florence for hosting us at Forte Belvedere: truly a breathtaking view,” Ambassador Llewellyn commented on the occasion. “I had the honour and pleasure of studying Italian in this wonderful city of yours and to return in this exceptional year is a real pleasure for me. Florence and Tuscany are in the hearts of so many British people, and in particular of our sovereign, King Charles III, to whom Mayor Nardella presented the Keys of the City. To toast with you to the health of our Sovereign therefore takes on a special significance.”    

The King’s Birthday Party (KBP) in Florence is part of the GREAT government campaign, a series of events and initiatives promoted by the British diplomatic representation in Italy throughout the summer, dedicated to diversity, sustainability, research, business relations, inclusion, music, cinema and culture.

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