THE PRINCE OF WALES AND THE DUCHESS OF CORNWALL CELEBRATE LUNAR NEW YEAR IN CHINATOWN, LONDON
Tuesday 1st February 2022
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Chinatown on the occasion of the Lunar New Year. Their Royal Highnesses will visit local shops, organisations and communities.
During the visit The Prince of Wales will join a conversation about hate crime towards the Chinese and wider East and South-East Asian Communities. The Duchess will visit the Chinese Information and Advice Centre where she will meet with police officers, immigration case workers and clients.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will be received by the Deputy Lieutenant Mr. Kevin Traverse-Healy.
Their Royal Highnesses will be welcomed to Chinatown with a display of dancing lions and will meet a group of trustees/funders/partners from The Chinese Information and Advice Centre (CIAC). Their Royal Highnesses will pause momentarily for a photo by the gates before beginning their walk-about.
Their Royal Highnesses will proceed through Chinatown, where they will see the delicacies sold by a local supermarket and visit a Chinese restaurant, where they will observe a calligraphy demonstration.
His Royal Highness will then join a conversation with members of the local community about hate crime towards the Chinese and wider East and South-East Asian Communities. The discussion will also include the author of East Side Voices, Helena Lee; Group Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust (Chair), Dame Martina Milburn; and Deputy Chief Constable, Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave.
Meanwhile, The Duchess will visit The Chinese Information and Advice Centre where she will meet with police officers, immigration case workers and clients.
Lunar New Year, also called Spring Festival, is celebrated by Chinese, South Korean, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Singaporean, Lao, Thai, Mongolian, Bruneian, Indonesian, Japanese, Cambodian, Filipino and East Timorese communities around the world.
The holiday began as a time for feasting and to honor household and heavenly deities, as well as ancestors.
Lunar New Year
The Prince of Wales has long been interested in Chinese arts and culture. In February 2015 The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited Chinatown to mark Chinese New Year, tour the new China Exchange and meet members of the Chinese community. The speech The Prince gave at the engagement is available here
In 2017 The Prince of Wales attended a performance at the Royal College of Music (RCM) of a guzheng, a rare 21-string Chinese zither, given to HRH by The President of China during the incoming State Visit by President Xi Jinping to the UK. The Prince, who is President of the Royal College of Music loaned the rare instrument to the RCM to mark the RCM’s agreement with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music (SHCM) to establish a new Joint Institute in China.
Their Royal Highnesses visited parts of South-East Asia including Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei during their 2017 Autumn Tour.
The Chinese Information and Advice Centre
The Chinese Information and Advice Centre (CIAC) was established in 1982. The Charity provides free legal advice, advocacy & support to the disadvantaged and marginalised in the UK Chinese Community.
The centre’s services include migrant integration, welfare and support to victims of domestic abuse, anti-racism and anti-hate crime. The centre also offers information, development opportunities and works to promote equality and diversity.
The centre hosts a monthly surgery for the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration and works very closely with the West End & Chinatown Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team. It is also a recognised Third Party Reporting Centre. It is supported by police volunteers of the Chinese & South-East Asia Staff Association of the Metropolitan Police.
In recent years, CIAC have included a Social Enterprise remit and expanded into organising Conferences & Public Forums, Summits & Round-tables and Festive & Awards events. It also leads publicly on local, social and consultative issues that matter to the Community.
It continues to engage in homelessness caseworks, HM Prisons support work, Community Engagement and Women Health & Well-being and operates a 24-hour Helpline. The Charity provides a first class front-line “Compassionate & Caring“ service from its premises located at the heart of London Chinatown to provide for easy access to its service users & strategic partnership work.
During the Lockdown, CIAC remained accessible to provide help & support to the Community and maintained a 24-hour Helpline. The Charity coordinated the logistics & distribution of PPE Face Masks, Thermometers etc & Food donations across the boroughs of Westminster, Ealing & Bexley to the Elderly, Vulnerable persons, local Hospitals, Care Homes, Community Centres, the Police Station & Fire Brigade.
Last year (2021), the Charity collaborated successfully with Westminster City Council (WCC) and the NHS to facilitate a mobile Pop-up Vaccination Centre for the Chinese Community, local residents & workers and wider in London Chinatown.
The Chinese Information and Advice Centre (CIAC) is a proud recipient of the prestigious “Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service”.