Queen listens to KPMG's diversity work on 150th anniversary
The Queen paid tribute to Prince Charles during a virtual engagement with employees and partners at accountancy firm KPMG. The monarch heard from John McCalla-Leacy, the first black board member of the firm, about what an impact the Prince’s Trust has had on his life.
During the video call, he said: “Please pass on my sincere gratitude to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales for the Prince’s Trust.
“Receiving the support that I did and when I did changed my life, and I will never forget this.”
The monarch, who rarely speaks about her family members during engagements, opened up on her son’s life-long charitable project.
The Queen replied: “I will pass it onto my son who is very proud of the idea of the Prince’s Trust, which I think has helped a lot of people.”
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Before joining the accountancy firm, Mr McCalla-Leacy had been an international white-water canoe slalom competitor.
In the early days of his sporting career, he was helped by the Prince’s Trust.
Prince Charles founded the Prince’s Trust in 1976 to support young vulnerable people aged between 11 and 30.
The Trust reaches out to youngsters struggling at school, the unemployed and people finding in difficult situations and help them get their lives on track.
Among the most famous people supported by the Prince’s Trust was actor Idris Elba.
The London-born star received £1,500 grant when he was in school to help him train as an actor with the National Youth Music Theatre, support which helped him kick-start his career.
Despite his worldwide fame, the actor continues to be an ambassador for Prince Charles’s scheme.
The Queen virtually visited the accountancy firm to mark its 150th anniversary.
During this virtual chat, the monarch was keen to hear more about KPMG’s history, the way it helps British businesses and how it is working to promote diversity and inclusion in accountancy.
During the Queen’s conversation with Mr McCalla-Leacy, the KPMG partner also spoke about the impact the pandemic has had on the firm as well as the effect of the Black Lives Matter protests taking place this summer around the world.
Mr McCalla-Leacy, who has spearheaded KPMG’s work to improve inclusion and diversity, said: “This year was really an incredibly difficult year for us within the firm, within KPMG because not only did we have to adapt to the many challenges that the pandemic brought.
“We also witnessed, like everybody around the world, that just deeply, deeply distressing scenes and the event unfold which ignited the Black Lives Matter campaign right across the world but also here in the UK.”
At the end of the virtual visit, the Queen said to be thankful for technology, which is allowing people to remain in touch despite the social-distancing measures in place.
She told the group: “Very nice to hear about KPMG’s 150th, it sounds as though it’s all going very well, in spite of all the difficulties.
“It is difficult when people are used to being so close to each other and, and it’s been – you know – everybody’s been divided up so much.
“Well, thank goodness for technology, we can still do this.”
The Queen carried out her video call from Windsor Castle, where she has been self-isolating for the most part of 2020.
Breaking with a tradition started in 1988, the monarch will remain at Windsor Castle on Christmas this year, spending the festivity “quietly” with Prince Philip.
Prince Charles has been tipped to carry out a socially-distanced meeting with the elderly royals next week.
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