BBC 🔵 King Charles awards first ‘harmony’ prizes with David Beckham – Shango Media
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BBC 🔵 King Charles awards first ‘harmony’ prizes with David Beckham

By Sean Coughlan, Royal correspondent

PA Media King Charles and David BeckhamPA Media

King Charles has launched a new set of awards celebrating living in harmony with nature.

He was joined at a St James’s Palace prize-giving ceremony by glitzy guests including David Beckham and Sienna Miller.

The inaugural winner of the King Charles III Harmony Award was former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon.

Food campaigner and TV chef Jamie Oliver won an award as « advocate of the year ».

PA Media Rod Stewart and King CharlesPA Media

The awards from the King’s Foundation are a cause close to the King’s heart. He’s spoken about the almost spiritual concept of humanity living in harmony with the natural world.

It’s based on the King’s principle: « We should work with nature, not against it ».

There was a big turnout of famous faces at the St James’s Palace event, including former footballer Beckham, now an ambassador for the King’s Foundation.

He was teased by another guest Sir Rod Stewart, who told Beckham that his knighthood « was coming soon ».

The football star also seemed to be questioned by the King about the England football team’s preparation for the Euros tournament in Germany, after their defeat against Iceland.

Beckham said it was a case of « warming up » and the King diplomatically said: « You don’t want to expend it all in one go at the beginning. »

The former England captain was playing in an unexpected position at the event, manning an interactive exhibit about bringing together science, technology and nature, including a demonstration of hand knitting using Dumfries House wool.

PA Media King Charles and Ban ki-moonPA Media

As well as Sir Rod, gardening guru Alan Titchmarsh, TV presenters Sarah Beeny and Patrick Grant, chef Raymond Blanc, editor Edward Enninful and model Naomi Campbell were among those presenting awards.

These are intended to be annual prizes, celebrating traditional craft skills, sustainable approaches to business and a sense of harmony.

Ban Ki-moon, who headed the United Nations from 2007 to 2016, was praised for a lifetime’s work of supporting a « sustainable relationship between people, planet and place on a local and global scale ».

Movie star Sienna Miller gave a « young entrepreneur » award to one of the foundation’s former students, Isabelle Pennington-Edmead, who has her own sustainable fashion business.

Reuters Sienna MillerReuters

Other winners included upcoming artist Kadijah Dumbuya; Octopus Energy; a community project in Kingston, Jamaica; and a scheme in Romania called the « ambulance for monuments », which repairs historic buildings.

Hospitality students at the event were offered royal residence-themed cocktails such as the Highgrove Cocktail – gin, Gloucestershire strawberry shrub, thyme liqueur and soda.

If you wanted a taste of East Ayrshire’s Dumfries House, that was whisky, Manzanilla sherry, rhubarb soda and dandelion and burdock bitters.

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