24 June 2022

Boris Johnson and Charles all smiles in Rwanda as they enjoy ‘tea and catch up’

24 June 2022

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Prince of Wales were all smiles as they sat down for their much-anticipated “cup of tea and a catch up” at the Commonwealth summit.

The body language of Charles and the politician was positive after Mr Johnson on Thursday appeared to take a veiled verbal swipe at Charles and critics of his plans to remove migrants to Rwanda.

Before the talks began, the Prime Minister had stepped back from comments he would tell the heir to the throne, who reportedly described the asylum seeker policy as “appalling” in private remarks, to be open-minded about the initiative.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Prince of Wales meet over morning tea (Chris Jackson/PA) (PA Wire)

The de-escalation of the brewing row was reflected in the demeanour of the two men, who met before the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) being held in Rwandan capital Kigali.

Mr Johnson nodded his head in deference and smiled as he shook hands with Charles as the Commonwealth secretary-general Baroness Scotland and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame watched on.

After the launch of the summit, the two men posed for pictures before their talk, which lasted for 15 minutes, with just the politician and the royal alone in the room without aides or advisers.

The Prime Minister jokingly asked the press, who had been ushered into the room, “Who are you?” while Charles stood a little self-consciously, with his hand in his pocket, but managed a chuckle before the pair sat alone.

On a table nearby, croissants and snacks were laid for the meeting.

After a cameraman, photographer, journalist and two people recording the moment for Number 10 – a videographer and a photographer – were shown out, tea was taken in.

After 15 minutes, Mr Johnson was the first to leave as he made his way to another meeting, and Charles’ private secretaries and the Queen’s top aide stepped into the room, apparently for a debrief.

They were Clive Alderton, Charles and Camilla’s principal private secretary; Chris Fitzgerald, deputy private secretary to the prince for foreign, Commonwealth and development affairs; and the Queen’s private secretary Sir Edward Young, who has joined the Clarence House entourage for the visit.

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