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King wears tie woven with Greek flags for Sunak meeting at Cop28

The King said that as the land of his father’s birth, Greece has ‘long held the most special place in my heart’
The King said that as the land of his father’s birth, Greece had ‘long held the most special place in my heart’

The King has worn a tie woven with tiny Greek flags for a meeting with the Rishi Sunak, days after the Prime Minister cancelled a meeting with his Greek equivalent over the Elgin Marbles dispute.

The King wore the blue and white tie for a series of bilateral meetings in Dubai as part of Cop28, and as he delivered his opening address.

It comes at the end of a week in which Mr Sunak denied having a “hissy fit” over cancelling a meeting with Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek prime minister.

Mr Mitsotakis had said in an interview that having some of the antiquities in London and others in Athens was like cutting the Mona Lisa in half.

The choice of tie will be viewed as an intriguing choice for the King, who shook hands with Mr Sunak at Cop28.

Joe Biden, the US president, wore the same pattern to mark Greek Independence Day in March this year.

The King speaks with Rishi Sunak at Cop28 in Dubai
The King speaks with Rishi Sunak at Cop28 in Dubai - Chris Jackson/PA

The King’s version is reported to have been bought during one of his official visits to Athens, and is sold in the Pagoni Maison des Cravates, a boutique in Kolonaki.

It was seen around his neck on a South Korean state visit, during a welcome ceremony on Horse Guards Parade and while hosting at Buckingham Palace.

The King is particularly fond of the Greek people and culture, with his own family links through his father and grandfather.

‘Greece is the land of my grandfather’

During a visit in 2021, he said the country had “long held the most special place in my heart”.

“After all, Greece is the land of my grandfather, and of my father’s birth, nearly 100 years ago, in the centenary year of Greek Independence,” he said.

“In feeling a profound connection to Greece – her landscapes, her history and her culture – I am hardly alone: there is something of her essence in us all.”

Buckingham Palace has not commented on the reason the King chose to wear the tie during Cop28.

It is not the first time a monarch has been accused of using their clothing to send a message. The decision of Elizabeth II to wear a blue and yellow hat with a striking resemblance to the EU flag during the state opening of Parliament in 2017 was, her dresser said, a “coincidence”.