King Charles stands at a podium to deliver remarks at an event in Gaston Hall.
Category: Events, In the News

Title: Revisiting King Charles III’s Trips to Georgetown Before His Coronation

On May 6, Charles III will be crowned king of England at a coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey. 

Before assuming this role, King Charles III made several trips to the United States, two of which included visits to the Hilltop. In celebration of his coronation, take a look back at the time Charles spent at Georgetown in 2005 and 2011.

King Charles on Faith and Social Responsibility 

In 2005, Charles made his first diplomatic visit to the U.S. in more than two decades. During his trip, he visited Georgetown’s campus and participated in a seminar on faith and social responsibility in Riggs Library. More than 1,000 students greeted him when he arrived, lining up behind gates in Healy Circle.

The round-table discussion featured 40 faith leaders, including faculty from Georgetown’s College of Arts & Sciences and the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the School of Foreign Service, who discussed the role of faith in facilitating better education outcomes, stronger disaster relief efforts and more effective social service delivery with the then-Prince of Wales.

“As a Jesuit university committed to academic excellence and social justice, Georgetown seeks to encourage and expand interreligious understanding,” Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said at the event. “We frequently offer the resources of the university to help advance dialogue in important areas and are pleased to welcome the [then] Prince of Wales as the latest example of our ongoing efforts.”

King Charles on Reimagining Food Production Systems

When he returned to the Hilltop on May 4, 2011, Charles was again greeted by crowds of students, who waited in the rain to meet him. He presented on food sustainability in Gaston Hall as part of a panel discussion for The Washington Post called “The Future of Food.”

“Having such fond memories of my last visit here, it really is a great joy to be invited back to Georgetown again to speak at this conference,” Charles said as he opened the conversation.

“Having such fond memories of my last visit here, it really is a great joy to be invited back to Georgetown again to speak at this conference.”

King Charles

More than 700 students, faculty and staff gathered to hear his thoughts on a more sustainable model of food production. Looking toward the future, Charles pointed the audience toward more resilient food systems that use sustainability subsidies. 

“We will have to develop much more sustainable or durable forms of food production because the way we have done things up to now are no longer as viable as they once appeared to be,” he said.

DeGioia reinforced Charles’ leadership in sustainable food production and energy in his introductory remarks. 

“The Prince of Wales has been a visionary leader in this space for nearly 30 years,” said DeGioia. “He has been one of the world’s most innovative and admired advocates of sustainable agriculture, ecosystem resilience and green energy sources.”

Eduardo Estrada (G’11), then a graduate student at the then-Georgetown Public Policy Institute (now the McCourt School of Public Policy), said he appreciated Charles’ message and the ways it complemented his work in the classroom. 

“I was very pleased to hear Prince Charles talk about many of the issues we have been discussing all semester,” Estrada said in a 2011 Georgetown news story. “He is someone who managed to use his royal status to challenge some of the existing assumptions regarding the way that we produce food in the world and the ability of sustainable agriculture to feed a rapidly growing population.”

The King, who would assume the role 12 years later, was already looking ahead. 

“Questioning the conventional worldview is a risky business,” he said. “And the only reason I have done so is for the sake of your generation and for the integrity of nature itself. It is your future that concerns me, and that of your grandchildren and theirs too. That is how far we should be looking ahead.”