The Queen praised journalists who “risk their lives” reporting from the Middle East and Ukraine as she celebrated the 135th anniversary of the Foreign Press Association (FPA) at its annual awards ceremony.
Camilla became an honorary member of the FPA at the Sheraton Grand Park Lane hotel in Piccadilly, west London, ‘following in the footsteps' of the King, who has also been given honorary life membership.
The FPA in London is the world's oldest and largest foreign correspondents' association, founded in 1888 by foreign journalists who came to London to cover the Jack the Ripper case.
Presenting the Queen with honorary membership, FPA director Deborah Bonetti said: “There are not many associations that can boast of having two crowned kings and queens as their honorary members.”
Speaking in the ballroom of the five-star hotel, while sharing a stage with host comedian Alexander Armstrong, Camilla said: “It's a great pleasure to be here with you tonight to celebrate the 135th anniversary of the Foreign Press Association and to reflect on the your many achievements as the oldest and largest association of foreign journalists in the world.
“But I cannot begin without also thinking that as we gather, journalists, photographers and their support groups are even now risking their lives.
“We are thinking especially of those reporting from Ukraine and the Middle East at this most difficult of times.”
He referred to the King's attendance at the awards ceremony in 2008 when he was Prince of Wales, reiterating his observation that journalists had a “tremendous responsibility” to protect “genuine freedom of expression”, which he believed was “at the heart of our democratic system”.
The audience laughed as she talked about how she knew “a bit of the responsibility” of the profession, saying there are journalists in her family and joking that she has been the subject of “a story or two” over the years.
He praised female journalists who are “increasingly targeted on social media” and hailed the work the association is doing to “promote and protect women”.
He cited “pioneers” Martha Gellhorn and Christiane Amanpour as well as two journalists “who paid so tragically with their lives” – Marie Colvin, FPA Journalist of the Year, and Daphne Caruana Galizia.
“The FPA was, of course, founded in 1888 when foreign correspondents came to the UK to report on the Jack the Ripper murders and decided to band together to ensure better access to information and sources,” the Queen said.
“While we may now decry some of the more sensational approaches to these terrible events, the fact is that the FPA grew out of a need to expose and condemn violence against women.
“And that remains a key part of journalism today.
“You have the ability to break the corrosive silence that often surrounds abuse. You bring the voices of victims out into the open, break taboos, shine a light on these heinous crimes and guide the public on what they can do to help.”
Camilla, wearing a green velvet Me+Em dress and Van Cleef & Arpels earrings from her own collection, was surrounded by reporters holding up their phones as she arrived in the reception hall to greet the 33 award nominees, before meeting the FPA. commission.
TV Documentary of the Year nominees Kavitha Chekuru and Laila Al-Arian, a Palestinian journalist from the US, spoke to Queen about their film about the death of their Al Jazeera colleague.
Titled The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, they told the PA news agency that their colleague was “killed in May 2022 by an Israeli sniper in the West Bank.”