The Duke of York was welcomed to South Korea with a reception hosted by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, HE Simon Smith. The reception was a chance for His Royal Highness to meet a cross section of the wealth of research, development and innovation in the Republic of Korea.
The next day, The Duke attended the opening session of the Asian Leadership Conference and have a speech: “In [email protected] I have chosen to create opportunities for new businesses to flourish and grow and to give them the opportunity to create a better world.” The conference is the country’s premier international conference, where Global leaders have the opportunity to discuss and provide solutions for the issues Asia is facing today.
On Wednesday 15 May, His Royal Highness will host [email protected] Korea 1.0 in Seoul.
Later The Duke of York visited Andong, South Korea to mark 20 years since The Queen’s visit on Her Birthday in 1999. The day started with a traditional Korean welcome at Andong Government Headquarters.
At Hahoe Village, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, His Royal Highness met many of the local clan-based families. The Village is famous for its Joseon style architecture and folk traditions. The Duke was escorted around the Village by the Mr Young-sae Kweon, who explained the history of the area and showed His Royal Highness the tree which was planted by Her Majesty in 1999.
The Duke then moved onto to a traditional Korean Reception which recaptured the tea party held on Her Majesty’s Birthday in 1999.
His Royal Highness delivered a message from The Queen: “I am very pleased that my son is visiting Andong today. It is over twenty years since The Duke of Edinburgh and I paid a State Visit to the Republic of Korea, and I recall with great fondness the many places we visited in 1999. In particular, I remember the very warm welcome that I received in Hahoe Village, on the occasion of my 73rd Birthday. In the months and years ahead, Prince Philip and I wish you every good fortune and happiness. Elizabeth R”
The Duke visited a local Korean House for lunch and watched a traditional Korean Mask Dance. Many of the dancers had performed the same Dance for The Queen in 1999.
His Royal Highness then travelled to the region’s Agricultural Co-op centre to witness a daily produce auction. Founded in 1973, the independent co-operative organisation has improved lives for local farmers. To commemorate the visit, The Duke planted an apple tree – apples are one of the main products traded at the auction.
At Bongjeongsa Buddhist Temple, His Royal Highness laid a fragment of ceramic as a prayer offering, just as The Queen did 20 years ago. The Temple is the oldest wooden building in Korea. It was established when monk Uisang made a paper phoenix and flew it in the air during the reign of Munmu of Silla (661-681 AD) – he built a temple of the post where the paper landed.
To finish the day in Andong,The Duke of York had a go at traditional block printing at the Korean Studies institute. The institute was established in 1995 and has a collection of over half a million items.
Back in Seoul’s His Royal Highness attended a dinner given by Korean Business Leaders.