Monday, June 17, 2024

King Charles shares a peck on the cheek with Penny Lancaster, talks Euros with David Beckham and friend Sir Rod Stewart makes a very cheeky joke and swears at star-studded inaugural King’s Foundation Awards

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The King showed off his showbusiness credentials tonight as he was joined by a host of celebrity ambassadors including David Beckham to mark his star-studded inaugural King’s Foundation Awards.

Charles, 75, whose diary remains busy despite his cancer treatment continuing, was joined at St James’ Palace in London by close friend Sir Rod Stewart and his wife Penny Lancaster, who shared a peck on the cheek with the monarch.

Actress Sienna Miller, editor Edward Enninful, model Naomi Campbell, gardener and presenter Alan Titchmarsh and chef Raymond Blanc also handed out awards. 

In one hilarious moment singer Sir Rod, 79, publicly teased former England football captain Beckham, 49, telling him his knighthood was coming soon.

Taking to the stage at St James’s Palace in London to present The Teaching Award with his wife, Lady Penny Lancaster, who is also an ambassador, Sir Rod asked if he could say a few words.

King Charles III embraces Penny Lancaster as they attend the inaugural King’s Foundation charity awards at St James’s Palace in London

‘Penny and I are so honoured to be ambassadors for the King Trust,’ he said. Lady Penny corrected him: ‘Foundation.’

‘B*******! ‘ Sir Rod laughed, still speaking loudly down the microphone. ‘Oh, I probably shouldn’t have said that!’

Lady Penny, wearing a stunning gold dress, giggled and laughed behind him and pretended to cross herself.

He then said cheekily and waved his fist triumphantly: ‘I am also wonderfully honoured to be a knight and David, yours is coming soon!’

‘And what about me!’ shouted out legendary chef Raymond Blanc jokingly, who was also presenting an award. Beckham could be seen shaking his head and laughing.

As the singer went back to the crowd to stand next to him the former England football captain whispered, still laughing: ‘Thanks Rod, thanks very much’ and wiped his eyes.

Sir Rod laughed mischievously when asked about his exchange with Beckham. ‘He’s a great man. I know him well and he can take it, he has a great sense of humour,’ he said.

Asked about his slip of the tongue on the microphone he grinned and said: ‘I did swear, didn’t I? Well there’s always got to be someone getting the party started!’

British pop icon Rod Stewart, left, former footballer David Beckham, second left and actress Sienna Miller, centre, speak to King Charles III, right

British pop icon Rod Stewart, left, former footballer David Beckham, second left and actress Sienna Miller, centre, speak to King Charles III, right

The monarch speaks to former footballer David Beckham as they attend the inaugural King's Foundation charity awards

The monarch speaks to former footballer David Beckham as they attend the inaugural King’s Foundation charity awards

Charles (pictured), 75, whose diary remains busy despite his cancer treatment continuing, was joined at St James’ Palace in London by close friend Sir Rod Stewart and his wife Lady Penny Lancaster

Charles (pictured), 75, whose diary remains busy despite his cancer treatment continuing, was joined at St James’ Palace in London by close friend Sir Rod Stewart and his wife Lady Penny Lancaster

Actress Sienna Miller, editor Edward Enninful, model Naomi Campbell, gardener and presenter Alan Titchmarsh and chef Raymond Blanc also handed out awards. Pictured, the host of celebs alongside Charles

Actress Sienna Miller, editor Edward Enninful, model Naomi Campbell, gardener and presenter Alan Titchmarsh and chef Raymond Blanc also handed out awards. Pictured, the host of celebs alongside Charles

The King smiles as he attends the awards with Rod Stewart, left, and David Beckham in the background

The King smiles as he attends the awards with Rod Stewart, left, and David Beckham in the background

The King’s Foundation Awards have been designed to celebrate students, teachers, alumni and partners of his foundation which provides educational courses, wellbeing programmes and spearheads regeneration projects across the UK, inspired by the monarch’s long-standing ethos of working with nature.

Beckham was recently announced as an ambassador for the King’s Foundation and met with His Majesty at Highgrove.

The King looked delighted to see him again and greeted him warmly. His Majesty referred to England’s recent 1-0 defeat to Iceland and the forthcoming Euros, chuckling: ‘It was very bad luck, I must say, David.’

Beckham replied: ‘No, no, I don’t think we should reward too much into that.’ ‘It doesn’t really matter, does it?’ His Majesty replied. ‘It was a warming up session.’

‘Warming up. We’ll be ok,’ the sportsman said. The King added: ‘Because you don’t want to expend it all in one go at the beginning.‘ ‘We’ll be ready,’ Beckham said.

Tonight’s awards, which are planned to be an annual event, saw nine awards given out, culminating in the monarch personally presenting The King Charles III Harmony Award, given to an individual to recognise their long-term commitment to the foundation’s mission.

The awards also featured live demonstrations of some of The King’s Foundation’s education programmes including furniture-making, woodworking and embroidery.

The charity – which was first founded by the King in 1990 when Prince of Wales – is particularly keen to support learning and entrepreneurship across traditional arts, textiles, rural skills, health and wellbeing and even recently teamed up with CHANEL.

Its headquarter are at Dumfries House in Scotland, which was saved by a consortium led by the King, and also cares for the Castle of Mey in Caithness and Highgrove Gardens in Gloucestershire. In addition, it runs from three further educational sites in London.

At St James’ Palace tonight 250 guests were greeted by pipers from the National Piping Centre and the Rock Choir who are based in Tetbury and often perform at Highgrove.

In a speech the King, who was preceded by pipers as he entered the room and presented his award to Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary General of the UN, said: ‘I really am delighted to be here with you all at the inaugural King’s Foundation Awards and to present the very first King Charles III Harmony Award. 

Former England football star Beckham (pictured right) was recently announced as an ambassador for the King’s Foundation and met with His Majesty at Highgrove

Former England football star Beckham (pictured right) was recently announced as an ambassador for the King’s Foundation and met with His Majesty at Highgrove

The beaming King shakes hands with Rod Stewart at the awards this evening in London

The beaming King shakes hands with Rod Stewart at the awards this evening in London

Rod Stewart holds a 10 pound sterling note showing the face of the late Queen Elizabeth II

Rod Stewart holds a 10 pound sterling note showing the face of the late Queen Elizabeth II

Naomi Campbell arrives for the inaugural King's Foundation charity awards at St James's Palace in London

Naomi Campbell arrives for the inaugural King’s Foundation charity awards at St James’s Palace in London

Last week it was announced that former England football captain David Beckham had been named a King's Foundation ambassador

Last week it was announced that former England football captain David Beckham had been named a King’s Foundation ambassador

Rod Stewart speaks as he presents the Teaching award at King Charles III's inaugural King's Foundation charity awards

Rod Stewart speaks as he presents the Teaching award at King Charles III’s inaugural King’s Foundation charity awards

‘This was an award created to recognise the individuals who champion the values which underpin the King’s Foundations’s mission and my own hope that we live in harmony with nature. 

‘Today this award recognises an individual’s tireless dedication to promoting these ideal on the global stage.’

Lady Penny and Sir Rod were united in their admiration for the King and what he has achieved.

‘It’s wonderful, it’s a great honour. I come from a very poor family and to find myself here in this wonderful place is a great honour. We all have to remember where we come from,’ Sir Rod said.

The singer said he had ‘huge admiration’ for the way the King had continued to work throughout his cancer treatment.

‘He had treatment today, he told me. I went through all that. I had treatment five days a week. Like him, I was still working. He’s remarkable,’ he added.

Lady Penny said: ‘Just like my husband, His Majesty’s work ethic is incredible. He was the driving force behind looking after the planet, our communities, our historical buildings. He’s been that driving force for so many years before everyone got on the bandwagon.

‘He knew exactly what he was talking about and the fact that he was itching to get back to work and do what he does best. 

‘He wants to make sure he makes his mark and raises enough awareness among people, so the younger generation will come through and follow on his work.

‘Her Majesty, of course, was the shining beacon and he was always in her shadow. He’s had the best teacher in the world. But it’s his time now. 

The King presents the Harmony Award to Ban Ki-moon, the former United Nations Secretary General

The King presents the Harmony Award to Ban Ki-moon, the former United Nations Secretary General

The King is all smiles as he presents the Harmony Award to Ban Ki-moon, left, the former United Nations Secretary General

The King is all smiles as he presents the Harmony Award to Ban Ki-moon, left, the former United Nations Secretary General

The King looked in great spirits as he attended the star-studded awards this evening

The King looked in great spirits as he attended the star-studded awards this evening

‘We have such respect for him and if we can do anything tiny bit to support him and his dreams and wishes to make it a better place then we absolutely will. We have always been supporters.’

Alan Titchmarsh said he had earlier chatted to Beckham about gardening, who had explained that his hands were covered in scratches from planting roses in his garden.

‘Yes but he’ll never get me to be as good as football as I can get him to be good at gardening. The main thing is that he is keen. He loves doing it. He’s discovered what I discovered at ten,’ he smiled.

Isabelle Pennington-Edmead, 27, from Warrington, won the Young Entrepreneur Award after graduating from The King’s Foundation Modern Artisan programme and has set up her own fashion label. She received her award from actress and model Sienna Miller.

She said: ‘It’s difficult for people like me from the background I come from to get that kind of training. Gradates struggle to find a job and that hands on experience. It was a very unique course. 

‘The King has been so supportive and wants to help creatives and respects creatives and respects the fact that not everyone comes from a background where you have an automatic road into the industry. Without the Foundation I wouldn’t have had the stepping stones to do what I’ve done.’

Charles’s diary remains busy after he travelled to France for the D-Day 80th anniversary commemorations last week despite his cancer treatment continuing.

Yesterday, the King was at Windsor Castle for a ceremony which saw him present new colours to the Irish Guards and inspect the guardsmen and officers on parade.

He will also have a high-profile appearance at Trooping the Colour in London this Saturday, then attend the annual Garter Day service at Windsor Castle next Monday.

The King’s Foundation, based at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire, is the custodian of the Highgrove Gardens in Gloucestershire and Castle of Mey in Caithness.

It offers workshops, programmes and short courses focused on heritage and craft skills at its Barley Court education centre on the Highgrove estate.

And it aims to revitalise communities through urban regeneration and planning, and support sustainable food production and teach rural skills.

The King’s Foundation is a charity founded by Charles when he was Prince of Wales in 1990.

The charity offers education courses for almost 15,000 students annually, and health and wellbeing programmes for nearly 2,000 people every year.

It also works on placemaking and regeneration projects in the UK and overseas with the aim of revitalising communities and historic buildings.

And the foundation carries out work at educational and cultural hubs in London, based at The King’s Foundation School for Traditional Arts in Shoreditch, Trinity Buoy Wharf on the River Thames and the Garrison Chapel in Chelsea.

In addition to its UK presence, the foundation delivers programmes and projects in more than a dozen sites abroad.

Last November, Buckingham Palace announced that the King’s long-standing charities had been rebranded in recognition of his accession to the throne,

As the Prince of Wales, Charles set up the youth charity the Prince’s Trust; the Prince’s Foundation and the grant-giving Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF).

But 14 months after he became monarch and a week ahead of his 75th birthday, the palace announced the organisations’ names had been updated to become The King’s Trust, The King’s Foundation and King Charles III Charitable Fund.

Charles once spoke of his hope his two sons William and Harry, now the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex, would take over the Prince’s Trust, which he set up with his Navy severance pay in 1976.

But William is paving his own way as the new heir to the throne, focusing on homelessness and mental health.

Harry, amid continued fractures in family relations after his Netflix documentary and autobiography Spare, is living thousands of miles away in the US with his wife Meghan Markle having quit as a working royal.

The switch in name to The King’s Foundation meant the monarch could keep the organisation and the two others firmly under his wing, despite the demands of his role as King.

The changes also gave something of a fresh start to the former Prince’s Foundation in the wake of the cash-for-honours allegations.

The Metropolitan Police launched an investigation in February 2022 following a series of newspaper articles accusing Michael Fawcett, formerly the foundation’s chief executive and a close confidant of the King, of promising to help a Saudi billionaire donor achieve British citizenship and a knighthood.

But detectives investigating the claims announced in August last year that they were taking no further action.

The foundation’s recent initiatives have included a Winter Warmers drive with free hot drinks and soup and craft activities at Charles’s country estate Highgrove to help combat loneliness and the cost-of-living crisis.

It also collaborated on a luxury fashion line with Yoox Net-A-Porter – as part of its Modern Artisan project, which gives students from the UK and Italy the chance to design and make the sustainable line of outfits as part of a textiles skills training initiative.

Last week it was announced that former England football captain David Beckham had been named a King’s Foundation ambassador.

Beckham was confirmed as an official supporter of the organisation a few weeks after he met the monarch privately to learn more about its work.

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