‘Huge royalist’ David Beckham ‘very excited’ to meet King at London fashion awards
David Beckham said he was “very excited” to meet the King at a prestigious fashion award ceremony in London, claiming he is a “huge royalist”.
The former England captain presented Charles with a jar of honey, made in his own beehive, claiming it would be “rude not to” at the event hosted by the British Fashion Council.
He added that he had been a “secret” fan of fashion for years and always tried to “dress different” as a youngster.
The King visited the 180 Studios art gallery in the Strand to present the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design.
Before meeting him, Beckham, ambassadorial president at the BFC, said: “Obviously it’s been a big few weeks for His Majesty and the family but we are all very excited about being here today.
“It will be a pleasure to meet our King today. I have always been a huge royalist and I was brought up to love the royal family.
“Fashion secretly has been a part of my life for many years – even when I was a young boy I always liked to dress in things that were different and different hair styles as you’ve seen over the years.”
He added that it was a “huge honour” to “encourage and inspire” young designers who benefit from the BFC’s scholarships.
“Being part of the BFC over the years has been a huge honour for me to help encourage, inspire and inform these incredible creatives, especially over the last couple of years,” he said.
“It’s been so challenging for them in their industry, so to see them adapt proves how inspired they are.”
After the event, Beckham embraced the award’s recipient, Sierra Leone designer Foday Dumbuya, in his design workshop, saying he had made his first Unicef trip to the country in 2008 as it “really needs a spotlight”.
Mr Dumbuya, who moved to London at the age of 12, said he shared a “common ground” with Beckham as he hoped to inspire a generation of boys from Sierra Leone after the country was “torn apart” by war in the late 90s.
He said: “As a kid, I remember him coming to Sierra Leone, the way that ignited kids who loved David Beckham.
“It put Sierra Leone on the map, so we do have a common ground in a way.
“As a global ambassador he inspires people to think they can do anything. For that young kid watching him on TV, he gets to connect to him and believe he can achieve whatever he’s achieved.
“It is telling stories about London, Sierra Leone, West Africa – for me it’s about how we bring those stories to life.”
In a tearful speech after receiving his award, Mr Dumbuya said: “Things like this don’t happen to people where I’m from.
“This award is for all young British and Sierra Leone kids who continue to dream – please don’t stop dreaming.”