The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall put on their gladrags for a British-Asian Trust reception at Banqueting House in central London.
Prince Charles is the Royal Founding Patron of the trust, and tonight’s reception was to celebrate its recent achievements and acknowledge the role of key supporters with some 200 guests.
Guests included Matt Hancock, Secretary for Health; Rishi Sunak, Chief Secretary to the Treasury; Adar and Natasha Poonawalla, philanthropists and long-term supporters of the Trust; Naughty Boy, Musician and BAT Ambassador; and Lord Ahmad, Foreign Office Minister.
Speaking to the pop-star after arriving, Perry mentions she had heard that Prince Charles talked to his plants. He replied: “I would prefer it if you sang to them.”
Hosted at Banqueting House – the last remaining part of the Palace of Whitehall, which burnt down in 1698 – the future King gave a speech, outlining some of the hopes and visions the British-Asian Trust has.
The British-Asian Trust innovative international development charity driven by the those of Asian descent in the UK to address poverty and inequality across South Asia. Prince Charles and a group of entrepreneurs and philanthropists worked together to deliver large-scale, sustainable change in South Asia.
Part of this is an anti-trafficking plan, and desire to combat child labour. There are believed to be 5.8 million children working in forced labour in India. In Jaipur alone, there are thought to be tens of thousands of child labourers working in hazardous workshops, producing goods including bangles, embroidery and other products with many forced to work for up to 15 hours a day.
The British Asian Trust has been working with business, government and civil society, to remove child labour from supply chains and encourage child labour free products in markets. In 2019, as a result of the partnership with the Freedom Fund and others through the Child Labour Free Jaipur initiative, the British Asian Trust achieved the first conviction resulting in a life sentence for a child trafficker in Jaipur. This was recently followed by two further convictions as major milestones.
Katy Perry was announced as ambassador of the Trust’s Protection Fund for India tonight, as well as Poonawalla’s £25 million pledge in support of the fund. She met Prince Charles on a recent visit to India, which must have sparked the relationship.
She said ahead of the event: “My work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador has taken me to many parts of the world and opened my eyes to the many vulnerabilities of children.
“India has long held a special place in my heart, and on my last visit, I was able to meet with the Prince of Wales and other leaders in Mumbai, and I was impressed by their strong plan – from on-ground initiatives to fundraising – that will aim to cut child trafficking in half.
So delighted to have @tariqahmadbt with us at the #BritishAsianTrust Annual Royal Dinner to discuss and celebrate our work in #Livelihoods #AntiTrafficking #MentalHealth #Education pic.twitter.com/4qM3miAO7M
— British Asian Trust (@britishasiantst) February 4, 2020
“That is why I am especially honoured to be named an ambassador for the British Asian Trust’s Children’s Protection Fund, and to help shine my light on the work that the British Asian Trust will be doing in South Asia, and to be a part of finding solutions to child trafficking.”
Manoj Badale, chair of the British Asian Trust, said: “We’re delighted to announce Katy Perry as our newest ambassador and are looking forward to working with her on raising awareness of the work we carry out across South Asia.
“Katy is a keen supporter of our work and her appointment marks another successful year for the British Asian Trust.”