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November 15th, 2023
Piccadilly Lights up for King’s 75th birthday

London’s iconic Piccadilly Lights were emblazoned with a special message yesterday afternoon (November 14) to celebrate the 75th birthday of The King and launch the Coronation Food Project, which His Majesty inspired.

At 5.30pm, tourists and commuters in Piccadilly Circus saw Europe’s largest advertising display screen sharing the message “Happy 75th birthday Your Majesty”.

The 10-minute take-over was designed to highlight the Coronation Food Project which was officially launched by The King and Queen earlier in the day. The project aims to bridge the gap between food waste and food need across all four nations of the United Kingdom, helping people and helping the planet.

The King was quoted on the giant screen, saying: “Food need is as real and urgent a problem as food waste – and if a way could be found to bridge the gap between them, then it would address two problems in one. To mark my 75th birthday in this Coronation year, it is my greatest hope that the Coronation Food Project will find practical ways to do just that.”

The birthday message was arranged by The Felix Project, London’s largest food rescue charity, which, along with FareShare, is supporting the project.

Charlotte Hill OBE, CEO of The Felix Project said: “This unique birthday message has a deep and poignant purpose. The Felix Project recently found that one in four working families regularly struggled to afford enough food to feed their families and one in ten have less than £20 a week, after paying all their bills, to buy food. That is why the Coronation Food Project is vital, without help like this we cannot grow our operations and ensure we have enough food, enough money and enough volunteer power to start taking organisations off our waiting lists and deliver much needed, delicious surplus food to those that need it most.”

The Coronation Food Project aims to create a fairer and more sustainable future by saving more surplus food​, supercharging food distribution networks like those managed by the Felix Project and FareShare and supporting the wider sector with flexible funding. It is being coordinated by the King Charles III Charitable Fund whose mission is to transform lives and build sustainable communities.

Nikki Jeffery, executive director of King Charles III Charitable Fund said: “The Coronation Food project was inspired by The King, so it seems fitting that we can mark this landmark birthday by launching this vital project. There are thousands of incredible community groups and charities supporting millions of people who are struggling to afford food, so if we can make a difference by saving more surplus food, that must be worth celebrating.”

The birthday message featured a new portrait of The King, which was taken by leading British photographer Rankin to mark the special occasion. It also included the new Coronation Food Project logo which was designed by Sir Jony Ive and his creative collective LoveFrom.

The space was donated by Landsec, a long-term supporter of The Felix Project.

Derek Manns, head of commercialisation at Landsec, said: “Piccadilly Lights has a crucial role to play in bringing attention to important issues. We’re delighted to use Piccadilly Lights to help celebrate the launch of the Coronation Food Project and to spread the message across the UK through our retail destinations.”

The animation was designed by The Maverick Group who have been providing creative support to The Felix Project on a pro-bono basis since 2021.

The King's 75th birthday celebration on Piccadilly Lights
The Coronation Food Project announcement on Piccadilly Lights
The King's 75th birthday celebration on Piccadilly Lights
The Coronation Food Project announcement on Piccadilly Lights

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