Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Coronation celebration in Jordan – British Ambassador’s speech [May 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 29 May 2023.

British Ambassador to Jordan, Bridget Brind OBE, spoke of the work the UK and Jordan are doing to advance our century-long friendship and partnership.

Good evening Your Royal Highnesses, Ministers, distinguished guests, partners and friends. I’m honoured by your presence here tonight.

On behalf of my family and everyone at the British Embassy and British Council in Jordan, I should like to welcome you and thank you for joining us to celebrate the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty Queen Camilla.

As the first Coronation in the United Kingdom for 70 years, this was a historic event. It was a truly magnificent spectacle, combining centuries old traditions with new elements reflecting modern Britain.

I was particularly struck by the emphasis on service, diversity and community. The new King said he came to serve and not to be served. Leaders of all faiths were represented, as were all parts of the UK. Guests included world leaders and distinguished guests from more than 200 countries, but also volunteers and representatives of civil society organisations. Some of the key roles in the ceremony were carried out by women.

As a musician, I particularly enjoyed the beautiful music – from songs in Welsh and Greek, to a gospel choir and the rousing sounds of Handel’s Zadok the Priest – played at every Coronation since it was composed for the coronation of George II in 1727 – and Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No.4. Of the twelve new commissions composed for the occasion by world-renowned British composers from the worlds of sacred, classical, theatre, film and television music, 5 were by women.

I am delighted that among the guests were both Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania, and also an impressive young Jordanian woman, Sara Abu Wafa, who King Charles met during his visit to Jordan in 2021. She was one of just five representatives of Prince’s Trust International invited to attend the Coronation.

We are honoured by His Majesty King Abdullah’s words on the occasion, sending his warmest congratulations and wishes for a glorious and prosperous reign, and looking forward to continuing to advance a century-long partnership and friendship.

His Majesty King Charles became heir apparent at the tender age of just 3 years old. This makes him Britain’s longest ever King in waiting. We all appreciate the famous Arabic proverb: Patience is the key to everything beautiful.

Patience is just one of the many virtues of leadership that His Majesty has projected across the globe so diligently.

As The Prince of Wales, He represented The Queen, meeting dignitaries and travelling extensively to further British interests and raise the UK’s profile abroad. He is now the United Kingdom’s most important ambassador.

Over decades of his remarkable public service he has championed many social, environmental and charitable causes.

He is widely known to tackle critical global issues head on. Through his love for nature, he has been at the forefront of promoting ecological sustainability for over 40 years. He is passionate about interfaith dialogue and youth empowerment and is Patron or President of more than 400 organisations.

He has founded nearly 20 charities, which together raise over £100 million each year for good causes.

His Majesty’s close affinity with Jordan was marked by his, and Queen Camilla’s, visit to this country as The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in 2021, to mark the centenary of our friendship. His Majesty said then that:

feel this friendship in the most personal of ways, as Jordan has always been a part of my life.

And many of the initiatives and causes he has championed over the years are highly relevant to Jordan.

In response to the threats posed by climate change and biodiversity loss, he created the Sustainable Markets Initiative, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. Its mission is to enable the private sector to accelerate the transition to a sustainable future. On His Majesty’s visit in 2021, he met Jordanian academic and business leaders to discuss the vital role of the private sector in supporting the economic transition to more sustainable solutions.

In 2006, he founded the Turquoise Mountain Foundation to revive historical areas and traditional crafts, which creates jobs and sustains heritage skills around the world. Working with artisans here in Jordan, it has supported training to develop entrepreneurship and reconnect thousands of children with their cultural heritage.

Since Prince’s Trust International began work in Jordan in 2015, the charity has been collaborating with the government, NGOs, employers and youth groups to develop solutions to the employment challenges faced by Jordanian youth. Last year, over 12,000 students from 204 schools around Jordan participated in the Enterprise Business Challenge programme (a partnership programme with INJAZ) to develop entrepreneurial skills that boost employability.

During his 2021 visit, His Majesty shared his admiration of Jordan’s roles in interfaith cohesion. He paid tribute to His Majesty King Abdullah’s role as Custodian of the Holy Sites in Jerusalem as a vital element in the search for peace in the region. And he underlined the UK’s admiration for Jordan as a constant voice of moderation, fostering greater understanding between different faiths and communities.

As a Patron of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, over the years His Majesty has promoted a better understanding of the Islamic world and championed the integration of young Muslims in the UK. His Majesty cherishes the Islamic World as “one of the greatest treasuries of accumulated wisdom and spiritual knowledge available to humanity” and as “A priceless gift to the rest of the World.”

Over the past year, as His representatives, my Embassy and the British government have continued to develop and strengthen our relationship with Jordan at all levels.

In addition to attending the Coronation last week, we were honoured that His Majesty King Abdullah visited London last November as one of the first world leaders to meet His Majesty King Charles III, and to call on our new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. In April, His Majesty King Abdullah and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince attended the historic 200th Sovereign’s Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst alongside King Charles. Foreign Minister Safadi made an official visit to his UK counterpart in London in March. Like others, we are looking forward to the happy occasion of the Royal Wedding here in June and wish the Royal couple a lifetime of happiness together.

The warmth of these visits and our other many royal and political interactions over the last year is testament to the enduring closeness of our bilateral relationship, but also to the many concrete areas in which we are cooperating with Jordan in the interests of both our nations.

  • politically, we are grateful for Jordan’s tireless efforts to promote peace and stability in the region and we value our strategic partnership and joint work on the many challenging regional and international issues. We appreciate Jordan’s principled stance in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine and their support on recent evacuations from Sudan
  • our security cooperation continues to be first-class, with the Armed Forces, Public Security Directorate and other security actors, often in partnership with many of those represented here tonight
  • economically, we are working to maximise the value of our new bilateral trade agreement to boost economic prosperity in both our countries. And we are supporting Jordan to advance reforms that will help increase trade, investment and economic growth
  • we are a committed long-term partner in helping Jordan provide a safe haven to millions of refugees from Syria and the region. We are supporting the provision of education, social protection and cash assistance to the most vulnerable people in society
  • we recognise that societies can’t grow and develop unless men and women can both realise their full potential. We are proud to be supporting efforts to increase the participation of women in Jordan’s economy and security forces, whilst also providing services to survivors of gender-based violence
  • climate change is the threat of our generation and one that we must tackle together. We support Jordan in delivering the commitments they made at COP26 in Glasgow and in adapting to the impact of climate change

In closing, let me return to the reason for this evening’s celebration and the Coronation of King Charles III. At a time of many global challenges, his leadership qualities offer us all something to admire. So I pay tribute to: His lifelong commitment to public service; His tireless promotion of charitable causes; and His championing of young people, interfaith relations and sustainability.

And I am happy to be able to share with you all a personal message of appreciation from King Charles.

In particular, I should like to thank all of our sponsors this evening, for making this event possible. Their names are on the screen behind me. I am proud of the GREAT British businesses, innovation and world class services we have here in Jordan. I am very grateful for your support and look forward to continuing to work closely with you and further growing our trade links.

I would also like to thank our musicians this evening: the Jordanian group Octave, who have collaborated with the British Council and who played for His Majesty King Charles on his last visit to Jordan; the wonderful band kindly loaned to us for the evening by the Jordanian Armed Forces, and pianist Helena Lloyd who has played music from across the four nations that make up the UK, including pieces and composers represented at the Coronation itself.

I would like to thank all of my team at the Embassy and at the Residence for their work to make this evening possible and for all their hard work throughout the year. And I would like to thank my family for all their support.

Finally, I want to thank all of you for everything you do to contribute personally to the relationship between the UK and Jordan for the benefit of our people.

Please join me in recognising His Majesty’s exemplary commitment and service, and in wishing him every success and strength during his reign.

Long live King Charles. To The King!