18 November 2021

Charles and Camilla marvel at the pyramids

18 November 2021

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have marvelled at the last remaining seventh wonder of the world – the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Charles and Camilla walked past the imposing structure and two other impressive pyramids during the first day of their tour of Egypt.

Earlier, the couple were welcomed to the Middle East country by its president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the First Lady Entissar Amer, and the prince held talks with the Egyptian leader while Camilla sat down with the head of state’s wife.

Dr Khaled el Anani, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities with The Prince of Wales and The Duchess (Peter Nicholls/PA) (PA Wire)

With Egypt due to take over the presidency of the next UN climate change conference – Cop27 – it is likely environmental issues were part of the discussions.

The Great Pyramid, which was created by hand more than 4,000 years ago – before sophisticated engineering skills had been developed, has inspired Charles to believe humanity can tackle the environmental problems facing the planet.

As the sun set, the couple posed before another instantly recognisable landmark nearby, the Sphinx, which has mesmerised visitors to Egypt for centuries with its body of a lion and a man’s head.

Pharaoh Khufu built the Great Pyramid as his tomb, his son Pharaoh Khafre commissioned the second and during this period the enigmatic Sphinx was carved from limestone, and Pharaoh Menkaure created the third and smallest pyramid at Giza.

Ashraf Mohi, director of the pyramid complex, walked the couple around the three pyramids and to the Sphinx.

Charles and Camilla with the Sphinx in the background (Joe Giddens/PA) (PA Wire)

He told the couple: “You are stepping on rocks that go back centuries and centuries – this is an adventure.”

Pointing at the pyramids, he explained they were once covered with flat limestone: “If you imagine in another time, it looked so shiny.”

Charles has visited the ancient wonders outside Cairo before privately but this was his first official tour, while Camilla visited the site in the 1960s.

At one point during the tour they walked carefully a short distance up the side of the 454ft (138.5m) high pyramid built by Pharaoh Khufu and briefly stepped into the tunnel entrance out of view.

A source said “The prince is convinced that human ingenuity can help stop climate change because when you look at the pyramids you realise just what people can do.”

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