Marcos: ‘I’ve known him when he was still Prince Charles’
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. flew to London on Friday to join world leaders attending the May 6 coronation of Charles III.
Marcos’ attendance marks the first time a Philippine leader appears as a guest in the coronation of a monarch of the United Kingdom.
The distinction is complimented by the president’s familiarity with the United Kingdom and with Charles himself, whom Marcos said he personally knew.
He told reporters before leaving Washington that he was attending the coronation because “I have known him even when he was still Prince Charles,” he said.
Marcos had his secondary and undergraduate schooling in the United Kingdom during the regime of his father and namesake.
Before Charles took his turn on Saturday noontime, the last coronation in the United Kingdom was almost 70 years ago when his mother, Elizabeth II, was crowned queen on June 2, 1953. She died on Sept. 8 last year at the age of 96.
Marcos arrived at London Gatwick Airport on Friday night, following his five-day official visit from the United States. He was welcomed by Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Richard Kleinworth, special representative of the king.
Upon his arrival, Marcos was greeted by airport officials, who also toured him around one of the busiest gateways in the United Kingdom.
He was accompanied on that tour by House Speaker Martin Romualdez and Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista.
Also joining the president on this trip were first lady Liza Araneta Marcos, their children Simon, Vincent, and Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos, and his sister, Irene Marcos-Araneta.
Before the coronation rites, which began at 11:00 a.m. (6:00 p.m. in Manila), the president and the first lady met with Charles at Buckingham Palace during a reception for heads of state and other visiting dignitaries.
Among the photos released by the British Embassy in Manila, one showed Marcos shaking hands with Charles, and another showed the president and the first lady having a chat with the king.
Marcos said he and the first lady were “deeply honored” to attend the reception.
The president also met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on the sidelines of the coronation. Earlier, Marcos posted on Twitter: “We underscore the thriving relationship between the Philippines and the United Kingdom, which has been promising in [terms of] increasing trade, investment, and cultural exchanges for the Filipino people.”
Marcos’ travel to London is his 12th foreign trip as President.
He will return to Manila afterward, then leave for Indonesia on May 9 to attend the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit on May 10 and May 11.