(TibetanReview.net, Sep11’22) – His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet has on Sep 10 congratulated Charles III on his accession as the King of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms. The latter acceded to the throne on Sep 8 upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
“Since I have the honour of counting Your Majesty as a dear and respected friend, it is a joy for me to see your being proclaimed King of the United Kingdom,” the Dalai Lama wrote in his congratulatory message.
He expressed confidence that the 73-year-old monarch will “fulfil this great responsibility with kindness and affection, dedicated to the service of others.”
The Dalai Lama last met with the then Prince of Wales at Clarence House in Jun 2012. It was “a friendly, informal meeting” which happened after four years, as a BBC.com report Jun 20, 2012 put it.
The Dalai Lama was on a 10-day visit to the UK and was stated to have described Prince Charles as the “best of friends” after a tour of the palace’s gardens with Charles.
Earlier, on May 21, 2008, Prince Charles put himself on a collision course with the Prime Minister by playing host to the Dalai Lama, as noted by the Daily Mail May 22, 2008.
The report said the Dalai Lama took part in a tree-planting ceremony before spending an hour in private talks with the prince at Clarence House.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown was at that time accused of pandering to the Chinese authorities by refusing to invite the 72-year-old monk to Downing Street, the report noted. (However, the two did meet at an inter-faith conference with other religious leaders at Lambeth Palace, the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury.)
In Oct 2015, Prince Charles skipped a state banquet hosted by the queen during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping. He only held a “one-to-one talk” with the visiting president.
Charles is a supporter of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader whom China views as a dangerous separatist, noted the AFP Oct 15, 2015.
He was earlier accused of boycotting a Chinese state visit to Britain in 1999, when he failed to attend a banquet hosted for Jiang Zemin, who was then Chinese president.
The heir to the throne didn’t attend the state dinner organised by the Chinese president in 1999, despite the event being deemed of extreme importance by both the Government and the Crown, noted the express.co.uk Oct 31, 2018.
A former private secretary to Charles, Mark Bolland, described it as “a deliberate snub” in a court statement in 2006, noted the AFP report.
“He did not approve of the Chinese regime, and is a great supporter of the Dalai Lama, whom he views as being oppressed by the Chinese,” Bolland was quoted as saying.