Behind-the-scenes details of King Charles’ coronation. Romanian Prince Christopher Ghika leads the organization of the historic event

Behind-the-scenes details of King Charles’ coronation. Romanian Prince Christopher Ghika leads the organization of the historic event
Behind-the-scenes details of King Charles’ coronation. Romanian Prince Christopher Ghika leads the organization of the historic event
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Cristina Cileacu: Mr. Major General Ghika, thank you very much for this interview for Digi24, Romania.

Christopher Ghika: With pleasure, it is a pleasure to speak with you this morning.

Cristina Cileacu: The Royal Household Division under your command has gone through two very important historical moments, the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and Coronation Day for King Charles III. What is the emotional impact on you and the bands participating in these charged events? Do you have some time to think about the importance of the event or are you just doing your duty?

Christopher Ghika: No, I think it’s more than a duty. It is a duty, of course, but I think for all of us who have the opportunity to be on parade, it is a privilege because it allows us to emphasize and demonstrate our loyalty to the King, it is a fundamental part of the ethos of the Royal Household Division, but also an opportunity to demonstrate our professionalism and commitment to everyone in the Royal Household Division, but also in the armed services.

Cristina Cileacu: The Division of the Royal Household and you are in the middle of the action every time there is a state ceremonial in the United Kingdom. I have to ask you, how much pressure is it when you know the whole world is watching you?

Christopher Ghika: I think there is some pressure, sure it is before events like this, but these are extremely well planned, we have repeated them and so, in that sense they are like any other military operation that we do elsewhere. And I think because we are dual-role soldiers, the soldiers who will be on parade this weekend have also served in Iraq and Kenya, in Africa, in Afghanistan, in theaters of operations around the world. And that provides, I think, the professionalism, commitment and self-discipline that helps us meet the enormity of the occasion.

Cristina Cileacu: You have served in war zones and are now in charge of royal protocol. As you said, the principles of a military mission are the same. But on a personal level, what is more difficult for you: being in Afghanistan and dealing with ISIS or being in London and dealing with royal protocol?

Christopher Ghika: I think both are challenging and I don’t think you could say one is more difficult than the other. Both are challenges. But like any challenge it is tackled with a fantastic team and through self-discipline, commitment and professionalism. And I am very fortunate to be part of a team that delivers these significant events, in the same way that I was fortunate to be part of an amazing team in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cristina Cileacu: Now you said that you are in the middle of rehearsals for Coronation Day and of course you are quite busy. What is the most difficult part of this event?

Christopher Ghika: Rehearsals are very important, because each of the Army, Navy and Air Force groups rehearse in their own barracks for several weeks. But rehearsals are for when we manage to get everyone to rehearse together. And of course it is a significant number, there are thousands of soldiers, sailors and airmen who are involved in the parade. And we only have a few opportunities to bring them together in rehearsal. So it’s absolutely the key element. And I already did one on Sunday, on a Royal Air Force airstrip. Then tonight we’ll bring them all to the streets of London to rehearse. So extremely important.

Cristina Cileacu: And how hard it is to maintain the standard, because British ceremonies are usually watched by audiences around the world, and I can only assume it’s not that easy.

Christopher Ghika: No, it’s a lot of hard work. The ceremony we prepare for the Royal Family, the King in this case, requires a significant amount of hard work. But there is huge pride in generating such a high standard. So everyone at the parade is committed to high standards. And these high standards make the ceremonial world famous. So the direct answer to your question is that it involves a lot of hard work, but it’s also pride. No one wants to do anything but the best.

Cristina Cileacu: Do you also discuss with the King the details of his Coronation?

Christopher Ghika: I’ve had a few talks with the King over the last few months, yes.

Cristina Cileacu: King Charles III has an affinity for Romania, he visits us quite a lot. You are the British member of a historic Romanian family and now you are in charge of the King’s troops. Do you still have ties to Romania?

Christopher Ghika: Yes, of course, we have part of the family still in Romania, we often come to visit Mogoşoaia, Posada, Comăneşti. So yes, we have strong ties and of course it’s where the family comes from and that’s important to us.

Cristina Cileacu: And do you speak Romanian or not?

Christopher Ghika: Unfortunately no. My father and my sister speak a little Romanian, but I don’t, unfortunately.

Cristina Cileacu: Mr General Christopher Ghika, thank you very much and have a successful Coronation Day.

Christopher Ghika: Thank you very much, it was a pleasure talking to you.

Publisher: IC

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