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London celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in great style. On Friday 15th November 2019 the Czech flag was waved proudly in the United Kingdom. The Embassy of the Czech Republic in London organised the ‘Velvet Freedom Ball’, which was historically the first showcase charitable ‘Czech ball’ that has taken place in London.

The colours of the Czech tricolour festively framed London’s Guildhall in celebration of 30 years of democracy and peace in the Czech Republic and as a symbol of gratitude to the British government and citizens, who have significantly supported and contributed to socio-political changes in Eastern Europe, including the Czech Republic, at the end of the 1980s.  

The ball commenced with opening speeches by Ambassador Libor Sečka, the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tomáš Petříček, the British Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, and by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell. They collectively reminded those present of the long journey the Czech Republic has undergone in the past 30 years, how they appreciate the current positive relations between the two countries and, drew attention to individuals and British institutions that helped Czechoslovak dissidents during the greatest unrests of the second half of the 20th century. Foreign Minister Petříček and State Secretary Truss built upon these historical ties with topics regarding the future in their private talk, during which they discussed the current political climate in the United Kingdom and the expected development of trade relations between the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom in the upcoming months.

The national anthems, the Velvet Revolution song ‘Prayer for Marta’, a three-course dinner, performances by professional dancers, a special edition of fine Moravian wines, a rich raffle with unique glass raffle tickets, a display of vintage Škoda cars, a light display on Guildhall and display of national flags, a solo dance for Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines with the ambassador and much more- these were the pinnacles of the evening’s celebrations that were being prepared by our team for over a year for 400 selected guests. The evening was not just a celebration but had a charitable purpose too. The raffle raised GBP 11.600,- which was donated by the Embassy to Great Ormond Street Children´s Charity, a charitable organisation helping children with life threatening diseases.

The Czech Radio Gustav Brom Big Band provided the evening´s live entertainment for the guests who danced to both modern and classic sounds. And a big thanks to the compare of the evening Ms. Lenka Kabrhelová who guided us smoothly and perfectly. Our special thanks goes to Czech Radio and the wide range of other partners without whom we would not be able to organise this ball. We would like to mention and give thanks to the City of London Corporation and ŠKODA UK whom the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London regards as our strong and stable support systems of our events and actions.

Thank you to all the guests for making the night so memorable!

Photos from the ball are available on our Facebook profile ‘Czech Embassy London’