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Charles and Camilla visit Chinatown to mark Chinese New Year

To honour the Chinese New Year, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall paid a visit to Chinatown in London. Whilst there, they Royal couple toured the new China Exchange and met members of the Chinese community.

The Chinese year 4713 begins on 19 February; it is the year of sheep. Those born in sheep years are often artistic, charming, sensitive, and sweet. It is considered the most creative sign in the Chinese zodiac.

Thursdays visit by Charles is on behalf of his role as President of the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community & The Prince’s Charities Foundation (China).

The China Exchange, in the heart of London’s Chinatown, offers two remarkable spaces for exhibitions, performances, lectures and special events. It aspires to be a vibrant forum for the debate of ideas that affect our lives today – with particular reference to the impact of China.

Events at the China Exchange will frequently highlight those who are leaders in their fields from well-known institutions in Britain and China. The exchange will discuss issues ranging from culture to business, the environment to heritage, education to enterprise, medicine to religion, economy to anthropology, and architecture to philosophy.

In 2008, Charles and an alliance of leading Chinese business leaders established Prince’s Charities Foundation (China).

The goal of the Foundation is to further a common bond between peoples of China and the United Kingdom.

“I hope that my Chinese Foundation can be a partner with the people of China and that this partnership can find a way in which great Chinese traditions such as the architecture of the Hutong, the music of the Guqin, Chinese crafts and Chinese Medicine can be celebrated. These are areas in which China has traditionally led the world and can genuinely be integrated in the mechanism of our contemporary society,” The Prince commented at the opening of the Foundation’s Beijing office in Oct 2009.

The Foundation has partnered with such well-known institutions such as The British Museum, The Palace Museum, Tsinghua University, Cambridge University, Royal Society of Medicine and English Chamber Orchestra to develop model projects.

In 2013, the Foundation worked with The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community to meticulously restore a historic courtyard house in Beijing, using time-honoured craftsmanship and green technology. The courtyard house is now open to the public as the “Shijia Hutong Museum”. It aims to increase consciousness of the historic neighbourhoods of the Old City of Beijing that are quickly becoming extinct.

Featured Photo Credit: Chloe Howard 2014

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