Prince Charles hosts influential Black Brits of the Powerlist at Clarence House

Last night, The Prince of Wales hosted a reception at Clarence House for supporters of The Powerlist, a list of 100 influential Black Britons.

Compiled annually and first in 2007, the list celebrates 100 of the UK’s most influential people of African, African Caribbean and African-American heritage in sectors from the arts and sciences, to technology and the world of business. The Powerlist seeks to highlight role models for young people.

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Prince Charles hosted supporters and nominees of the 2022 Powerlist, a group of influential Black Brits (Clarence House)

Charles, who recently contracted COVID-19 for a second time and had to cancel engagements,

“I’ve been so impressed to hear what all of you do, and the success you’ve all been having, and the way you go back, many of you I know, trying to find new talent in all sorts of dark corners around the country and everywhere else,” the future King said.

“It is remarkable how you manage it.

“I need hardly say how incredibly sorry I was not to have been able to attend the Powerlist Black Excellence Awards last year in response to your very kind invitation.  I am not sure if this has made up at all for my absence, but it has certainly been a great pleasure to see you all here – although I know there’s another – nearly 700 I think! – that I’m going to have to find a way to get around.

“I think some of you have been helped by my Prince’s Trust at some point in the last 45 years, so meeting one or two of you has been enormously rewarding for me and I can’t tell you how proud it makes me to find so many people who very often don’t always let on that they were helped by the Trust – until finally, when they become unbelievably successful!

Having spoken with most of the guests, Charles said he can ‘see just how far the Powerlist has grown and the impact it continues to have’.

“Our country, of course, continues to face challenges right across society,” he added. “To meet them successfully, we will need to rely upon the expertise and leadership of the people in this room, many of whom would have been a lot harder to find and elevate if the Powerlist did not exist, so I cannot congratulate you more, Michael, for having invented this remarkable initiative.”

Candidates are selected based on how influential they are in their main area of expertise, as well as how far that influence reaches into other areas of society.

Prince Charles at the Powerlist reception, hosted at Clarence House

Current members in the top ten include:Michaela Coel, actor; footballer Marcus Rashford, who has campaigned against government restriction of free school meals for underprivileged children; Anne Mensah, who is Vice-president of Content UK at Netflix; actor Daniel Kaluuya; Jacky Wright of Microsoft, working as their chief digital officer and corporate vice president; Prof Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director of Public Health England; entrepreneur and BBC Dragon Steven Bartlett; Akala, rapper and activist; Edward Enninful, Editor-in-chief of British Vogue; Charlene White, ITN news anchor.

Actor David Harewood was in attendance and shared that it was a ‘real pleasure’ to be surrounded by so many talented people. “It’s a real pleasure and a real honour to be surrounded, not just by the Prince, but by all these fabulously talented people on the black power list,” he said.

Baroness Amos commented it was ‘always a pleasure’ to come to Clarence House. “Charles has been extraordinary in really working to bring communities together”, she said, also sharing that she and the Prince spoke about her recent appointment to the Order of the Garter, alongside The Duchess of Cornwall.

The reception came after the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall visited Southend-on-Sea, which has been granted city status. The Royal presented the city with its Letters Patent, on behalf of The Queen, which formally changes its status.

The change came after what Charles described as the ‘tragic and senseless’ murder of MP Sir David Amess, who campaigned on the topic for years, as tribute to him.

His impassioned speech warned that the values of democracy are ‘under attack’ with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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