Saturday, April 20, 2024

ARGENTINA | 06-05-2023 21:15

UK Ambassador in Argentina toasts coronation of King Charles III

Hundreds of guests from Argentine political, business and social life and the British community toasted the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday at an event in Buenos Aires.

Whether quiche for those in favour or kitsch for those against, the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla in Westminster Abbey at noon sharp today was never to be ignored and nor was it by the British Embassy in Buenos Aires – hundreds of guests both from Argentine political, business and social life and the British community were invited to a lavish reception to honour the historic milestone.

A reception which had everything from Coronation Quiche (a vegetarian innovation on the initiative of the new monarch to replace the traditional Coronation Chicken and prepared according to a recipe by royal chef Mark Flanagan) through to a magnificent cake crowned with a crown, all washed down with Nyetimber sparkling wine brought from Britain and a British home brew of beer along with Argentine wines, soft drinks, tea and coffee – not to mention a wide range of tasty finger food.

British Ambassador Kirsty Hayes headed a toast (with Nyetimber, of course) to the new King, preceded by a speech hailing a tradition dating all the way back to the crowning of William the Conqueror in Westminster Abbey on the Christmas Day of 1066 and pointing out that this was the first coronation since 70 years ago when neither Argentina nor England (nor Brazil for that matter) knew what it was to win a World Cup. Hayes defined the ceremony as “combining the essence of the traditions with the spirit of new times,” adding to the ancient rituals “modern and personal touches … reflecting his forward-looking outlook.”

The envoy singled out in particular his commitment to the environment as somebody who made his first speech on the issue 55 years ago when nobody was talking about climate change or its predecessor, global warming. She pointed out that nobody has spent longer in waiting than Charles but he had put the time to good use with an infinite number of official activities and hundreds of visits abroad, including Argentina in 1999 when he had combined fun events like a benefit polo match in Hurlingham to laying a wreath to 1982 South Atlantic War dead and a visit to the British Hospital. On a more personal note she mentioned a passion for horses shared with Queen Camilla, as expressed in work for the Brooke equine charity (headed by the new Queen).

The ambassadorial hostess then invited her guests to sing (for the first time in her Residence) “God Save the King” in honour of the new monarch before toasting “The King” with Nyetimber. The national anthem was accompanied by the music of the Orquesta de los Barrios, composed of youngsters from low-income neighbourhoods and conducted by Néstor Tedesco.

Michael Soltys

Michael Soltys

Michael Soltys, who first entered the Buenos Aires Herald in 1983, held various editorial posts at the newspaper from 1990 and was the lead writer of the publication’s editorials from 1987 until 2017.


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