BLACKPINK conquers Buckingham Palace

BLACKPINK at Buckingham Palace — who would have thought?

But that’s exactly the grand vision that unfolded when Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa of the K-pop group BLACKPINK were recently invested as honorary Members of the Order of the British Empire by no less than Britain’s King Charles for their climate change and environmental sustainability advocacies.

BLACKPINK | Photograph Courtesy of IG/Victoria Jones/POOL/AFP

The Honorary MBEs were given to the quartet during a private investiture ceremony on 22 November in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace, with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and First Lady Kim Keon Hee in attendance.

“The King, joined by the President and First Lady of the Republic of Korea, has welcomed special guests @blackpinkofficial to Buckingham Palace, as they are awarded Honorary MBEs,” the Royal Family itself announced on Instagram, with a video of King Charles personally handing out the MBEs to the four girls.

BLACKPINK was awarded the MBE specifically for their role as advocates for the COP26 Summit in Glasglow in 2021. Their support has “encouraged millions of young people to engage with the global UN climate change conference and the topic of climate action,” said the Palace.

Prior to the ceremony, King Charles gave the K-pop girl group a special shout-out during his remarks at the state banquet.

“It is especially inspiring to see Korea’s younger generation embrace the cause,” said the King. “I applaud Jennie, Jisoo, Lisa and Rosé, better known collectively as BLACKPINK, for their role in bringing the message of environmental sustainability to a global audience as Ambassadors for the UK’s presidency of COP 26, and later as advocates for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

King Charles also highlighted Korea’s significance to pop culture in his speech.

“Korea has matched Danny Boyle with Bong Joon-ho, James Bond with Squid Game, and the Beatles’ ‘Let it Be’ with BTS’s ‘Dynamite.’ Our culture shares a remarkable ability to captivate imaginations across the world, transforming a so-called soft power into a shared superpower,” the King said.

To wrap up the ceremony, the Royal Family’s Instagram page paid tribute to the K-pop royals.

“On Wednesdays, we play Blackpink,” it said, referencing a popular Mean Girls quote (“On Wednesdays, we wear pink”), as a video clip showed the military band of the 1st Battalion of Welsh Guards playing “DDU-DU DDU-DU.”

The MBEs are special honors for exceptional achievements or services that have made a long-term and lasting impact on the world. BLACKPINK made history once again as the first K-pop act to receive such an honorary award, joining the select list of renowned artists that have been honored with an MBE through the years such as The Beatles, Adele, Ed Sheeran, M.I.A, Jason Iley, Frances Moore and Mel B.