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The Prince of Wales attends a British Asian Trust dinner

5th February 2014

The Prince of Wales meets Shahid Khan aka Naughty Boy and Emeli Sande

The Prince of Wales meets Shahid Khan aka Naughty Boy and Emeli Sande

The Prince of Wales, President of the British Asian Trust, attended a reception for supporters of the charity at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The Prince of Wales delivered a speech in the Raphael Gallery where he praised the work done by the Trust, which he helped to found in 2007 and channels desperately needed money to charities in South Asia.

His Royal Highness spoke about the need to invest in improving health, education and conservation among poor communities in the region.

The Prince, who visited India in November last year with The Duchess of Cornwall, said: "It was deeply moving and heartening to see that what was an idea six years ago is truly making a difference to the lives of over one million disadvantaged people in the region" and he revealed the organisation is going to expand to establish "a new Prince's charitable trust for south Asia" by harnessing the immense charitable giving power of British Asians and people living in South Asia itself.

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The Prince of Wales makes a speech at a British Asian Trust dinner

During the evening, The Prince of Wales happily chatted to guests at the reception for around an hour, greeting Patrons of the Trust including actor Sanjeev Bhaskar and former Wimbledon tennis champion Boris Becker.

A host of high profile celebrity guests attended the charity reception, including singer Emeli Sande and music producer Naughty Boy - who personally thanked the Prince for "changing my life" by giving him the £5,000 grant that kick-started his career.

The Prince of Wales speaks at a British Asian Trust dinner at the V & A museum

The Prince of Wales speaks at a British Asian Trust dinner at the V & A museum

Naughty Boy, whose real name is Shahid Khan, said: "I started with The Prince's Trust. I was given a £5,000 grant and it changed my life. I was delivering pizzas at the time. I've never had any musical training, I just naturally knew how to make music. I told The Prince 'Thank you, it changed my life'. I think he was overwhelmed the Trust is working."

Emeli Sande said: "I thanked The Prince for the support and inspiration he gives to young people trying to make their dream come true in the music industry."

The British Asian Trust supports charities within the areas of education, health and livelihoods in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It has helped to improve the lives of of one million people since it was founded.

A speech by HRH The Prince of Wales at a British Asian Trust pre-dinner reception

Published on 5th February 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen I must say I am so glad you are able to gather here in this remarkable gallery, The Raphael Gallery, because apart from anything else it gives me an opportunity just to check-up that the V&A is looking after the Raphael Cartoons - which actually belong to The Royal Collection but are on loan - just to make sure they have got them in the right place and are caring for them! 

And I also wanted to say how enormously grateful I am to Manoj for his extraordinarily kind words, and without Manoj's unbelievable efforts and Hitan Mehta's extraordinary commitment we would never have reached this stage. So I owe both of them an enormous debt of gratitude for their extraordinary energy and ability to translate ideas into action.

But if I do say so, both my wife and I had the most wonderful visit to India and Sri Lanka in November. And again, if I may say so, there's nothing more enjoyable than spending your birthday in somewhere like India and Sri Lanka, because I had more birthday cakes than you ever believe possible! Everywhere I went! Several in Kerala, several more in Sri Lanka and everybody is so much nicer to you - I promise you - when you are away! 

I also remember trying to visit one of the jungle reserves in Kerala where my brother in law Mark Shand  wanted to show me the work he's been doing on elephant corridors, but unfortunately 2000 Indian police got there before I did, and so as a result all I saw was three jungle fowl and one tethered cow! 

So ladies and gentlemen it so special to see so many of you ...

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