We congratulate their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla on their Coronation.
In connection with his long support of British business, our history with the King stretches back many decades. More recently, bp is honoured to have worked together with him on his important work on industry, sustainability, and local communities.
We take a look back at some of our past meetings with the King and send our best wishes to him, the Queen and the entire Royal Family for a long and successful reign.
North Sea visit
On 19 July 1968, the Prince of Wales visited bp’s Sea Quest drilling rig in the North Sea.
While there, His Royal Highness saw a drilling demonstration and visited the control room. He also chatted with many of the crew onboard, including the divers and drillers.
When Prince Charles mentioned to bp’s then-chairman, Sir Eric Drake, that he had never attended the board meeting of any company, he soon after received an invitation.
In June 1975, Prince Charles sat in on bp’s board meeting and later wrote to Sir Eric, saying:
“I am deeply grateful to you for making my visit to bp so intriguing and such fun. I am also indebted to you for letting me see, for the first time, something of how a worldwide and world-famous company operates…”
During the 1980s, bp won the best corporate programme of arts multiple times. Organized by the Association for the British Sponsorship of the Arts (ABSA) and the Daily Telegraph, the awards recognized “imaginative and effective sponsorship of the arts by commercial organizations in the UK.”
In this picture, from 1988, Prince Charles presented a glass bowl to bp Chairman Sir Peter Walters at a ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The Prince of Wales opened a new study unit at the British Council’s English Language Centre during a visit to Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1989.
Accompanied by the Director of the British Council in Jakarta, the Prince was welcomed to the centre by bp’s chief representative in Indonesia. bp’s support enabled the British Council to purchase advanced equipment for the new unit.
The Prince of Wales opened bp’s new headquarters at Britannic House, London, on 19 March 1991, after its restoration and reconstruction.
He was welcomed by London’s Lord Mayor, Sir Alexander Graham, and was given a tour of the building by bp Chairman Sir Robert Horton.
In 1999, bp and the Welsh Development Agency, supported by The Prince’s Foundation, applied and was granted permission to redevelop bp’s former Llandarcy refinery site outside Swansea in South Wales. St Modwen was chosen as the preferred master developer to deliver this new sustainable urban village.
Coed Darcy is planned to have a mix of housing, businesses, education and community facilities with sustainability, inclusivity and design quality at its heart.
Coed Darcy image courtesy of Aeroviews © 2021
Prince Charles tried his hand on the steel drums of Trinidad and Tobago’s Renegades band during a three-day visit in February 2000.
bp had sponsored the band, one of the oldest in Trinidad, since 1970.
King Charles greeted bp CEO Bernard Looney at a Buckingham Palace reception on 4 November 2022 ahead of COP27 in Egypt. The then-Prince of Wales founded the Sustainable Markets Initiative in 2020, and Bernard is the leader of the SMI Energy Transition Taskforce and member of the advisory board.
The SMI is working to accelerate a sustainable future for all. It is an honour for bp to be part of this distinguished organization and to carry out the King’s vision for Nature, People and Planet.
Picture courtesy of IJP Event Photos 2023
Food for thought
In 2022, bp supported a unique project to help thousands of struggling households to access tonnes of Christmas food saved from landfill. bp’s donation helped to supply fridges and freezers to hundreds of charities in London and the rest of the UK, enabling them to rescue and store more fresh and frozen food.
The project has had the support of His Majesty the King.
“As a company, we’ve been so lucky to have received His Majesty’s support over the years – including visits to several of our sites. And personally, I’ve had the privilege of working with His Majesty on a handful of occasions – and have always valued his kind, thoughtful and generous insights. We wish the King and Queen Consort every success.”
Bernard Looney, bp CEO