British Community in Luxembourg Celebrates Coronation of King Charles III
06 May 2023
About 700 people gathered for a community event in Luxembourg to commemorate the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla of the United Kingdom on Saturday 6 May 2023.
Various organisations with links to the British community in Luxembourg, including the British Embassy in Luxembourg, the British Ladies Club of Luxembourg (BLC), the British-Luxembourg Society (BLS), the British Chamber of Commerce for Luxembourg (BCC), the Anglican Church of Luxembourg, British Girlguiding Overseas – Luxembourg and Telstar Scouts, came together to organise a day of celebration at St George’s International School in Luxembourg-Hamm.
The coronation itself was shown on a big screen on the school’s grounds and there were various food and drink stands and activities for children at this free-of-charge but booked-out outdoor event.
Speaking to Chronicle.lu, British Ambassador to Luxembourg, Fleur Thomas, expressed her joy at the turnout at St George’s and reflected on how the coronation means different things for different people (as a religious event, an occasion to celebrate, etc.). She also highlighted the representation of the Commonwealth at this community event, where there were stands run by the embassies of Ghana and Pakistan, among others.
Kauser Arif and Madiha Sharaf from the Pakistan stand explained how they had happily accepted the invitation to join this event “for a good cause“, namely to celebrate the diversity of the United Kingdom. They highlighted how the UK’s significant Pakistani community forms a “part of the social fabric” of the country. Both women are based in Luxembourg – Kauser Arif has long been involved in the International Bazaar (Bazar International) and Madiha Sharaf is a doctor at the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL) – but have strong links to the UK. Visitors to their stand on Saturday could admire and purchase shawls and enjoy some snacks.
At the Ghana stand, representatives of the Embassy of Ghana were selling traditional products such as “Polo” coconut biscuits, premium chocolate and “Milo” cocoa energy cubes. The representatives explained how they too had been glad to accept the invitation from the British Embassy to join this community event.
The Anglican Church of Luxembourg was present with its “Bunting & Biscuits” stand, whilst the BCC served Pimm’s (a British gin-based fruity drink). The BLS and the BLC (with its cake sale) were also present, among others, and there were a couple of food trucks on site.
Children’s activities included arts and crafts, yoga, football and cricket sessions.
Many members of the British community in Luxembourg were in attendance, as well as people of various nationalities. One attendee, Ramin Forghani, described watching the coronation as a “once in a liftetime experience“. An Iranian national having spent much time abroad (now based in Luxembourg), he expressed a strong interest in diplomacy and international relations.
Luxembourg’s Minister for Family Affairs and Integration, Corinne Cahen, was also present, and there were speeches by the British Ambassador and St George’s Principal Dr Christian Barkei earlier in the day.
The community event ran from 11:00 to 15:00, with the weather remaining dry and sunny for the most part. Many children and adults alike were dressed up in British- and coronation-themed attire.
It is estimated that millions of people around the world watched the coronation, at which the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, along with fellow European royals and foreign leaders and dignitaries, were guests.
Update: Whilst about 700 people registered to attend the community event at St George’s, the British Embassy in Luxembourg has since confirmed that more than 450 people attended in the end.