British and South Korean dignitaries are out in force this evening in their finest outfits for a Buckingham Palace state banquet. And among them is pop royalty in the form of K-pop girl band Blackpink who took their seats in the ballroom for the four-course dinner.
The band’s four members—Jisoo, Lisa, Jennie and Rosé—were among around 170 guests on the horseshoe table to which the King and President addressed their speeches before the meal. And they were even mentioned in the King’s speech as he praised them for using their huge profile to champion environmental concerns.
“It is especially inspiring to see Korea’s younger generation embrace the cause. I applaud Jennie, Jisoo, Lisa and Rosé, better known collectively as Blackpink, for their role in bringing the message of environmental sustainability to a global audience as Ambassadors for the U.K.’s Presidency of COP 26, and later as advocates for the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals,” the King said. “I can only admire how they can prioritise these vital issues, as well as being global superstars.”
The King’s speech referenced several aspects of Korean popular culture including Bong Joon-ho, Squid Game and BTS.
Blackpink is believed to have traveled to the UK specially to attend the state banquet. In July, they made history as the first Korean band to headline a major UK festival when they played at the BST Hyde Park festival.
The King and Queen sat at the top table for tonight’s meal alongside the South Korean President, First Lady and Prince William and Kate. For the first time at a banquet, glasses on the table featured the cyphers of King Charles instead of Queen Elizabeth. The glassware is being gradually changed rather than replaced so today only the top table had the new glasses.
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