Edward Enninful, British Vogue's editor-in-chief, wrote a tribute on King Charles, saying the monarch is "not always who people expect him to be"
The magazine released the 2023 list of their annual honors on Thursday before the issue hits newsstands on Friday, with King Charles, 74, earning a spot. The list is known for pairing the awardees with guest contributors that TIME selects to write about them — and for the monarch, British Vogue editor-in-chief and European editorial director of Condé Nast Edward Enninful was tapped for the job.
Enninful wrote that growing up, "the world of royalty was one I didn't pay much mind to. What would that have to do with young Black boys in Ladbroke Grove? Much more than I realized, it turned out." He went on to praise Charles' close involvement with the Prince's Trust, a charity founded by the royal in 1976 that helps young people get jobs, education and training.
"He didn't have to do any of it," the editor said. "He could've let his privilege shield him from the realities of our hardship in a time when these were not a cause célèbre. But he always met us with an open mind and a listening ear."
Enninful said that King Charles "is not always who people expect him to be. He is charming, funny, socially confident, with a kindness that always seeks to put others at ease."
"The monarchy is not perfect, but in Charles we have a King who understands both tradition and what it takes to evolve with the times. It is a delicate balance and a rare ability," the editor said. "I am excited to see him carry his passions with him into a whole new era."
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Enninful became a global ambassador of the Prince's Trust in 2021 and featured the then-Prince of Wales in a 2020 issue of British Vogue to talk about his approach to sustainable fashion. He also worked closely with Meghan Markle when the Duchess of Sussex guest-edited an issue of the magazine in 2019.
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