The King Comes to Kingston’s Koreatown

King Charles came to Kingston this week to meet with the Korean community in New Malden.

One of the largest in Europe, New Malden’s Korean community is often referred to as London’s ‘Koreatown.’ It is home to around 20,000 South Koreans and boasts a thriving, rich and diverse cultural community.

On 8th November, a huge crowd turned out along New Malden High Street to greet His Majesty. Among them were local schoolchildren and families in traditional Korean dress, and the King spent some time meeting with them and chatting.

He was then given a tour around the New Malden Methodist Church, accompanied by the Mayor of Kingston, Cllr Diane White, Leader of Kingston Council Andreas Kirsch and the Korean Ambassador to the UK, Yeocheol Yoon. During the tour, he met with community and faith groups and signed the visitors book for a new exhibition marking the 140th anniversary of UK-Korea diplomatic relations.

A short musical performance followed, in which the London Korean Hummingbird Choir treated His Majesty to traditional Korean music, accompanied by local Korean dancer Su young Park.

The group then proceeded onto Cake and Bing Soo Cafe, where the King was gifted with an early birthday present: an Earl Grey flavoured birthday cake.

His Majesty also learned a little bit about modern Korean culture: he spent some time hearing about K-Pop music – one of the most popular music genres in the world – and Korean cuisine.

Finally, the King visited the New Malden War Memorial and met with representatives from the Royal British Legion, in preparation for Remembrance Sunday.