King Charles honours iconic Australian charity at Buckingham Palace

Save articles for later

Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.

London: King Charles III has given his royal support to one of Australia’s oldest charity efforts, opening up Buckingham Palace on Friday to families of those killed at war and to volunteers about to undertake a six-month relay home.

The Legacy centenary torch was lit at the palace – which in just a week’s time will be centre stage for Charles’ coronation celebrations – marking the official start of the London part of the relay.

Corporal Daniel Keighran VC (centre) lights the Legacy torch to mark the start of the London leg of the relay at Buckingham Palace on Friday. The ceremony is watched by King Charles.Credit: Callum Smith

The King warmly greeted torchbearers carrying the flame into the palace grounds alongside widows and families of deceased or injured war veterans who are under Legacy’s care, as well as some of the volunteers who provide the support.

Charles III greeted Corporal Daniel Keighran VC who presented him with a replica relay torch. The pair shared a joke, with the King using the baton as a cricket bat.

“I’ve got a huge week,” Charles told the group. “It’s fantastic you can be here.”

Keighran told the King he was looking forward to putting on a uniform again as part of the official delegation at the coronation service next week.

He reminisced with some about his school days at Geelong Grammar in Victoria and joked with others that they would soon be living in Earl’s Court, a long-time area of London where Australians congregate.

Legacy is marking 100 years of support to the families of Australian Defence Force personnel who have given their lives or their health to protect the nation. To pay tribute to the sacrifice of many Australians, the torch relay event, with 1300 torchbearers travelling more 50,000 kilometres, will make more than 100 stops on a six-month journey around the world. It will visit 45 Legacy Clubs, with London being the only overseas organisation. The club was established in 1947 to support Australian veteran families living in the UK.

As one of Australia’s oldest and most iconic charities, Legacy currently supports 40,000 families.

Eric Easterbrook, chairman of Legacy Australia, said the charity was grateful for the support it had received from members of the royal family over so many decades.

King Charles meets torchbearers at the start of the London leg of the Australian Legacy Torch Relay to mark the charity’s centenary year.Credit: AP

“It is wonderful to have His Majesty continue their heartfelt support and I can’t think of a more fitting commemoration than being at Buckingham Palace in our 100th year.” he said.

“Her late majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and his late majesty, Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, visited Sydney Legacy on their tour of Australia in 1954 and continued to provide support for our organisation.”

Following the visit to Buckingham Palace, the relay began at the General Charles Gordon Statue in the Victoria Embankment Gardens and travelled through the streets of London, past Big Ben and the Cenotaph on the way to the Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner.

Australian Victoria Cross recipient Daniel Keighran was joined in the relay by other torchbearers from London Legacy including a 101-year-old widow, families and volunteers.

The relay began in Pozières in northern France on April 23 where Legacy has its roots in a battlefield of the Western Front in World War I.

It was founded in 1923 by a small group of returned servicemen who kept the promise to help the wives and children of their comrades who were killed in the war or died subsequently.

There are over 3400 volunteers around Australia who act as mentors to the widows and their families, and who ensure the promise is kept.

Get a note directly from our foreign correspondents on what’s making headlines around the world. Sign up for the weekly What in the World newsletter here

Most Viewed in World

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article