Talk and prayer on behalf of the Buddhist community for the Multi Faith Service to celebrate the coronation of their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla – William Duncan 

Wellingborough District Hindu Association 5th May 2023 – Hindu Community Centre.

I am of similar age to His Highness King Charles and so have many memories of him growing up and being in the public eye, not only fulfilling his royal duties but also, more interestingly, speaking out frankly on issues that caused him concern.

Prince Charles was always thoughtful, sensitive and therefore troubled by such matters as inner city deprivation, the needs of the underprivileged and damage to our environment. Sometimes, when he spoke out, he was ridiculed by the media, but he persevered, determined to influence the values and institutions in our society.

In the 1970s, Prince Charles founded the Prince’s Trust to give life-changing opportunities to disadvantaged young people, and he established the Youth Business Initiative to enable the unemployed to start their own businesses. Both of these have been tremendously successful, helping over 60,000 young people a year, in the UK and Commonwealth countries.

It appears that Prince Charles was touched by Buddhist beliefs as we know that in the 1980s he read a book called “Small is Beautiful” – a book about Buddhist economics that became an international best seller. I also bought the book and have reread it a few times. It was written by Doctor Ernst Schumacher, known as the Father of the Green Movement. Schumacher founded the Intermediate Technology Development Group to promote the use of low-cost technology for immediate practical solutions to poverty, worldwide, putting people first. Prince Charles was clearly inspired by “Small is Beautiful” and strongly influenced by Schumacher as Charles then became President of the Intermediate Technology charity. It is now called Practical Action.

From that time onwards, Prince Charles became more passionately involved in conservation and organic farming, and campaigning for other alternative visions, such as unorthodox medicine, fearless of controversy.

We are very fortunate to have Charles as our King. He is spiritually aware, a defender of faiths – not only Christianity, and genuinely compassionate. King Charles, now supported by our loyal Queen, Camilla, deserves our gratitude and admiration.

I should now like to offer a Buddhist prayer, the sentiments of which I am sure the King would endorse:

For all beings, no matter who or what they are . . .

Whether they are seen or unseen

Whether they are living near or far

Whether they are born or unborn

Let none deceive or despise anyone

Let none wish harm to another, through anger or hatred

May all beings be safe, peaceful and happy.

Finally, a blessing:

May the King and Queen enjoy long and healthy lives,

And their virtuous intentions be realised.

Om mani padme hum