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British High Commission Suva celebrates the King’s birthday

Paying tribute to His Majesty’s commitment to nature, love of gardening, plants and flowers, the event showcased Fiji’s flowers and the artists who turn these natural works of art into beautiful displays.  

The UK last celebrated a King’s Birthday Party was in 1951. His Majesty King Charles III was born on 14 November 1948 and ascended the throne as the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the Realms of the Commonwealth on 6 May 2023. The Coronation was a once-in-a-generation event and one of the most significant cultural moments of 2023.

In his remarks, Dr Brian Jones spoke of the historical ties between the UK and Fiji, the modern partnership defined by our work together for a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world – including our joint effort to stop those responsible for the illegal invasion of Ukraine, and our efforts to find lasting peace in the Middle East.

The Chief of Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave the toast to the health of His Majesty The King. Laisa Vulakoro, Paulini Bautani, Justin Blake Hickes and their band set the vibe with their musical talent and sang the British and Fijian national anthems. The Horticultural and Orchids Society of Fiji showcased their work on the theme of ‘celebration’.

Madam First Lady, Vilomena Katonivere had the pleasure of presenting an award to the florist who displayed their flower art at the King’s Birthday Party.

Akosita Raicebe, President of the Suva Orchid and Horticultural Circle said:

We were pleased to be showcasing our floral arrangements at this year’s King’s Birthday Party, the first time the Circle and the High Commission have worked together at this level. Fiji has some of the most beautiful flora in the world and we know His Majesty The King has a great interest in both the beauty of the natural world, and the beauty of Fiji. We hope our arrangements during the 2024 KBP has inspired to protect the wonderful flowers and plants of Fiji.

Our guests represented the relationships we’ve strengthened over the past year, and the new networks we have built – Youth for Integrity Fiji, Fiji Graduate Womens’ Network, CWM Board of Visitors, Women Entrepreneurs Business Council Rainbow Pride Hub, Sanatan Fiji and Soqosoqo Vakamarama iTaukei were represented alongside Fiji’s top businesspeople, diplomats and officials from the security, arts and education fields.  

The British High Commissioner to Fiji, Dr Brian Jones, said

Flowers represent new life, hope, love, and the promise of what is to come. His Majesty King Charles loves gardening and promotes plants and nature in all he does. The British love of nature, and tradition and culture of gardening is something we share with our friends in Fiji and across the Pacific. Gardening breaks down barriers in society and the wonder of new life excites and reassures us all equally. Our event celebrated everything that flowers mean to us all across our vibrant cultures. Like gardens, relationships between countries and peoples can’t be left idle: they need tending, hard work, creativity, and investment. That’s my job as High Commissioner, with my team, and that’s what this evening was about – planting new seeds, tending established stems, and celebrating the wonder of what’s to come in the next season.

A big Vinaka Vakalevu sand Dhanyavaad to our fellow gardeners for their presence and fantastic support in making #KBP2024s so memorable.

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