Coronation feasts and a very regal Charles
With all its restaurants, Manchester’s Corn Exchange is a dining destination fit for a king and they even have their own royal Charles to prove it.
As the day of King Charles III’s Coronation gets closer, the team at the Corn Exchange in Manchester has revealed the royalty within its ranks. A future King Charles, perhaps?
Charles Okhivia, who works as a supervisor at the Corn Exchange, originally hails from a small village called Ozalla, in Edo State, Nigeria, where his grandfather was once the leader of the village, making Charles a prince by birthright.
Known for its natural beauty, warm hospitality and rich cultural heritage, the village of Ozalla is nestled in an area of nature surrounded by hills, valleys and dense forests and is a hidden gem. It can be found in the heart of Nigeria’s southern region in Edo State and at the helm of the Kingdom is the highly revered Oba of Benin.
While each village in Edo State has its own traditional leader, the path to leadership in the village of Ozalla is different from that of the British monarchy where succession to the throne is determined at birth. The head seat in Ozalla is held by the eldest person in the village and is determined when the current one passes on. If Charles were to live long enough to become the eldest person from Ozalla, he too could one day hold this position just like his grandfather once did.
However, Charles now lives in Manchester and has worked at the Corn Exchange for eight years. While he stays connected to his family and community in Nigeria and makes sure to share his experiences in the UK with them, he has embraced life in Manchester.
Despite a very different background to King Charles III, both men believe in serving their community. Charles Okhivia plays an active role within the Christ Salvation Ministry (Overcomers) in Manchester, where he preaches at Sunday School, works with the elderly and provides marriage counselling. Charles is also actively involved in mentoring and guiding young people, particularly providing them with practical advice on behaviour and career choices whilst also encouraging them to pursue their dreams. Not too dissimilar to the work undertaken by The Princes Trust Charity founded by, at the time, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in 1976.
Amy Gough, Soft Services Manager at the Corn Exchange says, "As we celebrate the coronation of King Charles III, it's important to remember that leadership comes in many forms. Charles Okhivia, our very own royal Charles, is a testament to this. His unique background and perseverance serve as an inspiration to us all. We are proud to have him as part of our team at the Corn Exchange and we look forward to seeing him continue to grow as a leader in his own right.”
The Corn Exchange is an iconic and historic building in the heart of the Manchester and with its grand architecture and array of culinary delights, it's no surprise that this venue has become one of the most popular places to dine in the city. We may not all have a seat at the royal table, but you can certainly indulge in the luxurious dining experiences that the Corn Exchange has to offer over the Coronation weekend.