UN chief designates renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang as Messenger of Peace

“Lang Lang is one of the most exciting and accomplished musicians of our time. He has performed for world leaders and worked with some of the greatest orchestras and maestros,” Mr. Ban said. “But he has also used his art and ability to inspire audiences to improve the lives of children everywhere.”Mr. Lang, who began playing the piano at age three, has performed around the world. He played at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for United States President Barack Obama and the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom at Buckingham Palace in 2012. He has also been Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the past 10 years, helping raise awareness to ensure every child’s right to quality health care and education. In addition, he has frequently used his music to raise funds for UNICEF and for humanitarian aid in emergencies, such as a special performance for a sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall in New York to benefit the UNICEF emergency response to the earthquake in Haiti.“As Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, you have used your unique ability to inspire audiences around the world to help improve the lives of children,” Mr. Ban told Mr. Lang. “I am pleased that you will now be promoting global education, a key driver of human progress and well-being. I look forward to working with you to advance my Global Education First Initiative.”The Global Education First Initiative focuses on three goals: getting every child in school; improving the quality of learning; and fostering global citizenship.“Through his playful spirit and profound talent, Lang Lang connects people, not only through his music, but also through his passion to build a better world through education. I know Lang Lang’s message will strike a chord from symphony halls to school halls,” Mr. Ban said.Messengers of Peace are individuals who possess widely recognized talents in the fields of art, film, literature, music and sports, helping to raise worldwide awareness of the UN’s ideals and activities. Through their public appearances, contacts with the international media and humanitarian work, they expand public understanding of how the UN helps to improve the lives of people everywhere.Mr. Lang joins 11 other UN Messengers of Peace who advocate on behalf of the United Nations, including Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho, primatologist Jane Goodall, musician Stevie Wonder, and US actors Michael Douglas, Edward Norton and Charlize Theron. read more

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Prince George cheers on mum and dad in Cowes regatta but both

“They were really charming and excitable. They’re just the same as any other kids, that’s what’s nice: they want to have fun, be imaginative, play.”  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in good spirits on Thursday, one day earlier than planned The Duke’s team came joint third, picking up a bottle of champagne for charity Child Bereavement as his wife took her defeat in good spirits.The King’s Cup, a royal sailing tradition that dates back to George IV that has now been revived by the Cambridges, is intended to raise money for eight charities, with the Duke and Duchess joined by six celebrity ambassadors representing Centrepoint, the London Air Ambulance, Tusk, Action for Addiction, Place2Be and the Anna Freud Centre to race head-to-head. The Duchess of Cambridge is competing to raise money for the Royal Foundation The boat, along with six others, crossed the starting line too early and was supposed to go back, but instead carried on with the race regardless.As it crossed the finish line, the race commentator noted: “Duchess of Cambridge! Great job. Unfortunately disqualified.”The Duke’s team came joint third with the boat from Centrepoint. Tusk, represented by Bear Grylls, came in first, and the London Air Ambulance, captained by Dan Snow, in second.Prince George and Princess Charlotte, wearing nautical-themed blue outfits, were looked after by maternal grandparents Michael and Carole Middleton for the day, spending the morning at a local fair to take part in a tug’o’war, balloon and bubble making, and learning how to be a pirate.  The Duchess of Cambridge is competing to raise money for the Royal FoundationCredit:Chris Jackson Prince George watched from a boat as his parents lost their first race to Bear Grylls' team Princess Charlotte cheekily pokes her tongue out The Duke and Duchess stood together waiting to board their respective yachts The Duke and Duchess stood together waiting to board their respective yachtsCredit:Kelvin Bruce Their baby brother Prince Louis was also on the island, but was kept out of sight of the cameras while the two older children were taken on a boat to watch the race.Appearing at the prize-giving, where Princess Charlotte left her mother and grandmother laughing in mock-shock after poking her tongue out at the crowd, the two children saw their mother cheerfully pick up an enormous wooden spoon as a booby prize.  Prince George watched from a boat as his parents lost their first race to Bear Grylls’ teamCredit:Cover Images/John Rainford Earlier in the day, George and Charlotte joined in family fun on the island as part of the festival, where their team, nicknamed “The Scallywags”, won a tug of war during a session with entertainer Pirate Pete.“We’ve got a fine bunch of buccaneers on our hands,” Pirate Pete said afterwards.“Us pirates, we’re not used to hanging around royalty, we’re not usually best friends. But I’ve had a good day recruiting some new pirates.”Asked whether the royal children had a “natural aptitude for piracy”, he added: “Oh yes. They were trying to steal my weapons, and there were some good pirate faces being pulled.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in good spirits on Thursday, one day earlier than plannedCredit:Kelvin Bruce There was competition on the high seas, a comical prize-giving, and one very realistic pirate. In short: everything needed for a fun family day out.So when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went to work to raise a million pounds for charity in their inaugural King’s Cup sailing race, it was just as well Prince George and Princess Charlotte were on hand to make it a day to remember.The royal children stole the show on the Isle of Wight as a gap-toothed Prince George sported a sailor’s hat to watch the Duke and Duchess do battle on the seas and, apparently, “ate his first ant”.The four-year-old Princess staged her own amusing mutiny on the balcony, encouraged to wave to the crowds above the prizegiving stage but choosing to stick her tongue out mischievously instead. If the famously competitive Duchess hoped to show them how mummy can beat daddy at sport, she was sadly mistaken, left with a giant wooden spoon as her team was disqualified. Princess Charlotte cheekily pokes her tongue outCredit:Samir Hussein/WireImage As the Duchess shook her head, compère Dan Snow said: “This is the first time the Duchess has ever finished last in anything, I can guarantee. So you’d better enjoy it because it will never happen again.”Accepting the winners’ trophy, Grylls spoke of the “incredible work” of Tusk and praised the Duke and Duchess’ “vision and inspiration” in setting up the event.In an unexpected aside, he added from the stage: “And also, Prince George: your first ant you ate today! And that is a great moment. Well done you. What a guy!” The Duke raced for Child Bereavement UK, while the Duchess competed for the Royal Foundation and its focus on early years development. While the Duchess is the more experienced sailor, having learned as a child, her crew finished last in the two-stage race after coming seventh in the first leg and being disqualified in the second. read more

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