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A message from the King to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Ascent of Mount Everest

Sue Leyden reads the King's Statement at the 70th Anniversary Event
A message from the King to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Ascent of Mount Everest, read by Sue Leyden

In commemoration of the Seventieth Anniversary of the Ascent of Mount Everest, His Majesty sent a message, which was read out by Sue Leyden at the Royal Geographical Society on June 13, 2023. The event witnessed the presence of more than 30 family members of the 1953 expedition, along with ambassadors, members of the mountaineering community, and dedicated volunteers from numerous charities that drew inspiration from the accomplishments of the 1953 expedition.

Message from The King read out by Ms Sue Leyden, Daughter of Lord Hunt. 

Ladies and Gentleman,

Seventy years ago, on the eve of her coronation, my late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, received the wonderful news that a British Team, led by Colonel, later Lord, John Hunt, had successfully climbed Mount Everest.

The pair who reached the summit, supported by a dedicated team of mountaineers and sherpas, were a New Zealander and a Nepali Sherpa, thus bringing together two nations that have long shared a mutual love and respect for the mountains and for exploration.  It has not escaped my notice that there is a wonderful symmetry in the coinciding of the 70th anniversary of that achievement with my own Coronation.

The bond between my family and the legacy that resulted from that historic moment was further strengthened through The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, which Lord Hunt helped my father to create and which has since offered millions of young people opportunities to explore their own strengths and skills, as well as to offer their services to the community.

What we are celebrating today must be one of the greatest examples of endurance, combined with careful planning and collaboration.  Our world is facing unprecedented and existential challenges, including climate change which endangers fragile ecosystems, including the Himalayan range.  I dearly hope we can take inspiration from the Everest Expedition of 1953 in order to work together in a similar fashion to safeguard our beautiful world for future generations.


The King welcomed Sue Leyden, Jamling Norgay and Peter Hillary at the Palace on 14th June 2023 to mark the anniversary.

You can view this picture >> here on the Royal Family Instagram


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