Fleur Thomas, British Ambassador to Luxembourg; Credit: Jazmin Campbell / Chronicle.lu

About 350 people gathered at the Residence of the British Ambassador to Luxembourg on Thursday evening to celebrate King Charles III's official birthday.

A limited number of lucky guests had the opportunity to travel between Glacis in Luxembourg-Limpertsberg and the Residence in Luxembourg-Ville in style, on board the iconic red double-decker bus. Upon arrival, guests were greeted at the gates by Grenadier Guards, before being welcomed by British Ambassador Fleur Thomas and Deputy Head of Mission Danial Shaikh, respectively.

The celebration kicked off with the singing of the Luxembourgish and British national anthems by a St George's International School student. Later, in her speech, Ambassador Thomas thanked St George's for its collaboration with the British Embassy over the years.

Also in her speech, the British Ambassador took the opportunity to reflect on her three-year tenure in Luxembourg which is coming to an end this year. She recalled how she had arrived towards the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, she had the opportunity to explore and "[fall] in love" with the Grand Duchy. Highlights during her tenure included: the UK hosting COP26, and working closely with Luxembourg stakeholders on climate change as well as her own efforts to make the British Embassy more sustainable; supporting LGBTIQA+ causes and speaking at events; fostering engagement among the younger generation and working with local schools; showing support for Ukraine. She also mentioned bilateral visits and agreements signed between the UK and Luxembourg - the two countries signed a double tax treaty in 2022 and a bilateral cooperation agreement in 2023. The ambassador added that she had enjoyed working with fellow ambassadors and diplomats, for example through joint initiatives, and thanked them for their collaboration.

Regarding specific events, highlights included the late Queen's jubilee celebrations, although this was later followed by a more sombre commemoration of her death. The British community in Luxembourg also held a community event to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III. The ambassador added that the Grand Duchy had played host to various British artists and sportspeople over the past three years. She expressed her gratitude to the British Embassy team, before asking attendees to raise their glasses in honour of King Charles.

Among those present at the celebration were members of the British and other communities in Luxembourg. Guests included government ministers, MPs, MEPs and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Luxembourg, among others.

Attendees could enjoy musical entertainment and networking over finger food and drinks - with a British twist. They also had the opportunity to admire two British classic cars, provided by MG Club and put on display in the gardens. The star of the event (if not the Grenadier Guards) was arguably Paddington Bear who was sitting in the driver's seat of one of the cars.