Celebrating King Charles’ birthday at the British Embassy

The British Embassy in Seoul the night of the party for King Charles' birthday. (Josephine Yein Lee/YJI)

Seoul, SOUTH KOREA – Fun fact! Did you know that King Charles has two birthday celebrations in a year? Did you know that the king’s birthday is originally in November but due to the cold weather they hold it in May in Korea and in June in the UK?

Did you know that they call it “Trooping the Colour” because it marks the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years?

Did you know that the UK embassy has launched the first-ever Green Week in Seoul? Did you know that the British Ambassador loves to “Green” their embassy?

Did you know that there isn’t a parking lot inside the embassy?

In this article, I wanted to tell you about the two days I spent at the British Embassy.

In March, four young girls, including me, got the amazing chance to visit the British Embassy during the first-ever Green Week.

I have always been aware of climate change’s negative impacts, but now realize the urgency of this pressing matter.

The British ambassador talked about our dire reality and how the increase in global temperature must be maintained at or below 1.5 degrees Celsius. He highlighted the gravity of solving climate change so that future generations can live in a world still similar to ours.

Later, we learned about the Global Green Growth Institute, an international climate change organization. We learned how it operates by employing equal amounts of men and women to give them equal chances, and then we met its leaders who revolutionized communities to bring more publicity and awareness to the climate change situation.

We also listened to a thoughtful lecture about how climate change is intertwined with gender inequality, and as the day came to a close, we ended it with a TED Talk by a famous biologist and other authors. We thought this precious experience would end here. 

Signs for the birthday party. (Josephine Yein Lee/YJI)



Guess what?

We got invited to King Charles’s birthday celebration! The epic party began with people mingling with one another and saying hello. I was at first very confused and scared because the only people I knew were the workers and the other girls.

After I found the girls and found my comfort zone we decided to stand in front of the crowd, at the very front row in the garden. We all thought that there would be a special guest or famous people that would be present at the event because two years ago – before Queen Elizabeth died – the popular K-pop group, Blackpink was present at her birthday celebration.

So we thought, “Maybe… There’s a chance Blackpink will be here today?”

The author with the British Embassy behind her. (photo provided)

As time passed and high level people from South Korea began and ended their speeches, the British Embassy finally announced that there were secret guests for all of us.

I would love to dive into the details, but the embassy ordered all who participated in the celebration to not talk about details. So I shall not.

But like my previous visit to the British Embassy, it was unique and a fun experience that I’ll never forget. It’s definitely something to brag about to a stranger you don’t know. 

It was a precious and unforgettable experience.

Josephine Yein Lee is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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