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The Duke of York’s visit to Korea

The Duke of York at Bongjeongsa
The Duke of York at Bongjeongsa

HRH Prince Andrew paid a visit to Korea last week, and as part of his visit retraced the footsteps of his mother’s state visit twenty years ago.

He arrived on 12 May and his first engagement was a reception hosted by the ambassador HE Simon Smith:

The next day, after giving a welcome speech at the Asia Leadership Conference in Seoul, he was taken on a trip to Andong, where the Queen was welcomed in 1999. The Duke paid a visit to the two sites visited by his mother, both of which have now been UNESCO listed: Hahoe folk village and Bongjeongsa temple – home of Korea’s oldest wooden building.

Twenty years ago the Queen planted a fir tree in Hahoe. This time, the Duke planted an apple tree at the nearby Andong Agricultural Cooperative:

Of course, when in Andong you have to be entertained by a traditional Hahoe Mask Dance, and in a nice touch some of the dancers performing for the Duke had also danced for the Queen in 1999.

On 15 May the Duke returned to his agenda of promoting business, entrepreneurship and trade, hosting Pitch@Palace Korea 1.0 at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul. He also had lunch with Ban Ki-moon and met with President Moon Jae-in.

On the final day of his visit, the Duke visited SK Telecom for a tour of their headquarters and was shown how their technology is being used for alerts ahead of natural disasters.

The winner of Pitch@Palace Korea, Innomdle Lab, will be visiting London later this year for the global Pitch@Palace event at St James’s Palace in December.

According to Royal Life magazine,

The Duke of York has previously visited South Korea on three occasions, most recently in September 2008, and prior to that in November 2005 and April 2001.


Note: this post has been edited to reflect the Duke’s previous visits.

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