Andong Gives British Queen Special Apples for Birthday

      June 07, 2019 13:08

      Specialty apples from Andong in North Gyeongsang Province will be flown to the U.K. as a gift for the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday.

      Although the queen's actual birthday is April 21, she also has an official birthday that takes place on the second Saturday of June each year.

      The Andong National Agricultural Cooperative Federation said Thursday that it was invited to Buckingham Palace to deliver 500 kg of an apple variety it started to breed after the queen's visit to the city in 1999 and dubbed "A-pple" in 2016.

      The federation wrote to the queen through the British Embassy in Seoul in March to thank her for her interest in local produce when she visited Andong 20 years ago and to propose she try the new variety that it developed in commemoration of her visit.

      A response from the queen came a month later.

      Britain's Prince Andrew (right) is given apples from Andong in North Gyeongsang Province on May 14. /Courtesy of the Andong National Agricultural Cooperative Federation

      The A-pple was presented to Prince Andrew, the queen's second son, when he visited the city last month. He read a thank-you message from her that said, "I remember the very warm welcome that I received… In the months and years ahead, I wish you every good fortune and happiness."

      A-pples recorded accumulated sales of W140 billion last year, a first for a local agricultural cooperative.

      Andong federation representatives will have a meeting at the British Embassy before flying to the U.K. and discuss exports to the U.K. and the possibility of receiving a royal warrant of appointment from the British court.

      Kwon Soon-hyeop, the head of the Andong federation, said, "We want to take this opportunity to develop the A-pple brand to rival Del Monte and Sunkist." 

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