LONDON (AP) — King Charles III immersed himself Wednesday in London’s vibrant Korean scene before the state visit later this month of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.
During the state visit, the South Korean leader and his wife will receive Britain’s traditional royal pomp and ceremony as well as commemorating the sacrifice of British soldiers during the Korean War.
Charles and Queen Camilla will formally welcome the president and his wife, Kim Keon Hee, on Nov. 21 during a ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in London, where the South Korean leader will inspect a guard of honor, Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday.
The president and first lady will later take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Korean War Memorial to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. They will then visit Westminster Abbey, where the president will lay a wreath at the grave of the Unknown Warrior.
During the state visit, the South Korean leader will also address members of both houses of Parliament before attending a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.
Yoon will also attend a business forum on Nov. 22, and then hold talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at No. 10 Downing Street.
Before the visit, Charles spent the afternoon in New Malden, southwest London, which is home to one of the largest Korean communities in Europe.
Charles was welcomed to the area by schoolchildren waving Union Jacks and South Korean flags, and he watched a Korean choir sing a traditional song.
He asked locals about K-pop music, and was given kimchi, the Korean fermented vegetable dish, as a gift before his 75th birthday on Nov. 14. Charles joked with locals, asking: “Will it blow my head off?”
“He was saying how he got to see the traditional performance and that it was a shame that we didn’t get to see a real K-pop performance live as well,” local resident Sunny Lee, who met the monarch, told reporters.
The president and first lady will arrive to the United Kingdom on Nov. 20 and depart on Nov. 23.