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The King and The Queen Consort visit Tower Hamlets

Royal visit

Crowds welcomed The King and The Queen Consort to Tower Hamlets today as part of a visit to honour the borough’s Bangladeshi community.

You can see more photos here and a video below:

The visit started at Altab Ali Park in Whitechapel Road – named after the 25-year-old man who was murdered in a racist attack in Adler Street in 1978. There The King and The Queen Consort met with elders from the community who were involved in the anti-racism movement at the time.

The King and The Queen Consort planted a tree to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Altab’s death and visited the Shaheed Minar monument which commemorates the Bengali Language Movement.

Following the park, they walked along Brick Lane starting at Banglatown Arch and adjacent mural. Both the arch, which was renovated last year, and the mural called ‘Mateer Tan / The Land is Calling, which was painted by international artist Mohammed Ali MBE, pay tribute to 50 years of Bangladeshi independence which was celebrated in 2021.

Accompanied by a dance procession, they continued down the famous street stopping to meet children from a number of local schools, local charities and businesses and women of the BBPI Jamdani Network.

The visit concluded at the Brick Lane Mosque learning about the history of the building which has changed over the years from a Church to a Synagogue to the present Mosque.

They met several community and business representatives, including the Brick Lane Funeral Service Director and the President of the East London Central Synagogue to hear about the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and interfaith work.

The visit was organised by the British Bangladeshi Power and Inspiration (BBPI) working with Tower Hamlets Council and Tower Hamlets Police.

Ayesha Qureshi MBE JP, Founder of BBPI, said: “Brick Lane is more than just a street to the British Bangladeshi community. We are humbled beyond words that Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort have accepted our invitation to visit the community in our spiritual home of Brick Lane and in so doing are recognising the struggles our elders faced in making Britain their home.”

“As a community we have suffered a disproportionate number of deaths during the Covid-19 pandemic. We proposed Their Majesties visit as a way for our generation to pay tribute to those we have lost, and, on whose shoulders, we stand today.”

Shafi Ahmed, Speaker of Tower Hamlets Council, said: “We are incredibly proud to welcome The King and The Queen Consort to our borough. We have seen today how much the Royal Family means to our residents, traders and schoolchildren.

“We believe Tower Hamlets offers the best of London in one borough with our mix of culture, communities, entrepreneurship and history. Our Bangladeshi community is a example of all of those elements with Brick Lane at the heart.”

Posted on Wednesday 8th February 2023