Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Marcos: Before coronation, King Charles ‘recounted fond memories’ of Imelda

Bea Cupin

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Marcos: Before coronation, King Charles ‘recounted fond memories’ of Imelda

CORONATION GUEST. President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. speaks to King Charles III during the reception ahead of the British monarch's coronation.

Presidential Communications Office

Marcos slips quietly back into Manila late Sunday, May 7, skipping the usual ceremony – arrival honors and an arrival speech – after visiting the UK

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. slipped quietly back in Manila late Sunday, May 7, after a whirlwind week that took him to Washington DC for an official working visit then London for an “official” visit to attend King Charles III’s coronation.

Typically, there’s a (semi) public arrival ceremony and protocol involved when Marcos returns to Philippine soil after a trip overseas, of which he’s had many since he assumed office in June 2022.

After the chartered Philippine Airlines plane lands and parks in Villamor Airbase, Marcos is accorded arrival honors and delivers an arrival speech, which is then broadcast live via both government and private news entities, including RTVM, the agency tasked to document the President’s activities.

Reporters are informed of this beforehand through an advisory via the Presidential Communications Office, or the communication arm of the Palace.

For this arrival, there was no such advisory.

Instead, Marcos’ return was first (in)formally announced in an Instagram post by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos. “It feels good to be back home! Can’t believe we have to unpack and then pack again for the upcoming ASEAN meet on Tuesday, May 9th,” she said in her caption.

Responding to media queries, PCO Secretary Cheloy Garafil said: “No arrival honors. He was welcomed by the chief of protocol and Air Force officers.”

Parked behind Marcos, instead of the usual PAL plane (PR001 for flights leaving Manila, and PR002 for flights returning to Manila), was a red and white aircraft the First Couple had presumably used to fly back home from London.

Marcos’ flight arrangements to the UK were previously unclear to the media – the plane the government had chartered to fly to Washington DC for the official working visit with almost all of the Philippine delegation (Cabinet officials, support staff), including this reporter, on board flew back to Manila on May 5.

The only other time Marcos’ return to the Philippines lacked the usual pageantry was when he flew to Singapore – without prior announcement – to watch the Grand Prix.

Imelda, Charles’ ‘friend’

Instead of the usual arrival message, the PCO released to the media a statement from Marcos on the UK visit for the coronation.

“I join the community of nations in congratulating His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty Queen Camilla on the joyous occasion of their Coronation on 06 May 2023, at Westminster Abbey in London. It was as grand and magnificent a ceremony as could have been, full of symbolism and weighted by history. It was a great honor for me to represent the Philippines on such a historic occasion,” said Marcos, who attended the event with his wife, the First Lady.

“Filipinos wish His Majesty King Charles III a long and happy reign. May his Coronation signify the start of a new chapter of peace, progress, and prosperity for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth,” he added.

CORONATION GUESTS. Marcos and the First Lady went straight to the UK following an official working visit to the US.

Marcos made no mention in his statement if a planned “very casual” meeting with the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pushed through, although the Philippine president did make sure to report on an apparent interaction with the new monarch.

“A day before the Coronation of King Charles III, we were able to speak with His Majesty at the reception, where we sent him the congratulations of all Filipinos. He asked after his friend, my mother, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, and recounted fond memories of the time they shared together,” said Marcos.

The former first lady, part of the so-called “conjugal dictatorship” between herself and her husband Ferdinand E. Marcos, was in power for over two decades, several of those years under Martial Law. His regime is remembered for the human rights abuses and pilferage of public coffers by both the clan and their cronies. Prince Charles was a teenager when the Marcos years started, and in his late 30s by the time the clan was finally forced out of Malacañang during the People Power Revolution of 1986.

In 1970, when Marcos had just been reelected for a second term, Imelda reportedly requested an audience with Queen Elizabeth II, the current King’s late mother and the reigning monarch then. The request for both Imelda and Marcos Jr. was granted, although cables from the British foreign office noted then how diplomats were baffled over why the audience was allowed because it had “never been done before.”

The current president spent many years in the United Kingdom, both for high school and college, although he failed to earn an undergraduate degree. His three sons, now all adults, hold degrees from UK institutions.

After a day-long stay in Manila, Marcos and the First Lady will be flying to Indonesia, this time for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI
Avatar photo


Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.