The Duchess of Cornwall visits sunny Eden to celebrate ten years of The Big Lunch
The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Eden Project in bright sunshine today to celebrate ten years of The Big Lunch, an idea from Eden made possible by the National Lottery.
In her role as Patron of The Big Lunch, Eden’s biggest outreach project, Her Royal Highness met around 70 supporters of the event at a picnic-style reception in the Mediterranean Biome, complete with a maypole and bunting.
There The Duchess cut a tenth birthday cake to mark the initiative’s decade of work. She spoke of the importance of communities working together and how The Big Lunch can help neighbours break the ice.
In a moment which delighted her fellow lunchers, a steel band struck up the tune of Happy Birthday to mark not just the project anniversary but also The Duchess’s own birthday on Wednesday (July 17).
The Duchess was welcomed by Eden board director Peter Stewart, who has led the development of The Big Lunch over its ten-year growth. The Duchess became Patron in 2013.
Since 2009 The Big Lunch has brought millions of people together with their neighbours for a few hours of community, friendship and fun every June.
More than six million people take part every year in thousands of events across the UK with an ambition for the project to become a nationally recognised event in the annual calendar, bringing people together to create happier and healthier communities where they know one another and neighbourhoods thrive.
Peter Stewart said: “It has been wonderful to have the Duchess of Cornwall’s support for The Big Lunch. This has been a huge help to the project. We have been delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness back to Eden today as we mark a decade of bringing communities together through our annual community event.”
In 2018 Eden Project worked together with the UK Government to invite communities in the 53 nations of the Commonwealth to celebrate their connections, communities and diversity by hosting Commonwealth Big Lunches in the run up to Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
Since then, the concept of Commonwealth Big Lunches has been developed across the Commonwealth with events hosted as part of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s tours to Ghana in 2018 and Barbados in 2019. Most recently, Their Royal Highnesses attended a Big Lunch event in Lisnaskea, Northern Ireland.
After attending The Big Lunch reception, Her Royal Highness then viewed the Western Australia Garden in the Mediterranean Biome before moving to the Project’s Core education centre where the Infinity Blue sculpture is on display.
The Eden event was part of a three-day series of engagements in Cornwall and Devon being undertaken by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall from today (Monday) to Wednesday July 17.