25 October 2021

Charles and Camilla set for biggest overseas trip since pandemic started

25 October 2021

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will take their first major overseas tour since the pandemic began with a trip to the Middle East.

Clarence House said Charles and Camilla have been asked by the Government to visit Jordan and Egypt and will tour the countries from November 16 to 19.

Chris Fitzgerald, deputy private secretary to the prince, said climate change would be one of the main themes of the visit, and other issues would include inter-faith dialogue, female empowerment and efforts to preserve cultural heritage.

Mr Fitzgerald said: “The first royal tour in almost two years will come at a significant moment in the UK’s relationship with both countries.

“Their royal highnesses will first travel to Jordan, where they will celebrate both Jordan’s own centenary and 100 years of the UK-Jordan bilateral relationship.

“Their royal highnesses’ visit to Egypt comes as the UK holds the Cop presidency and Egypt has been nominated to assume the Cop27 presidency in 2022.

“In this decisive decade for climate action, the next 12 months is therefore expected to see a significant co-operation between the UK and Egypt. Indeed, both visits will have a major focus on addressing the climate crisis.”

The royal family have close ties with many of the ruling families of the Middle East including Jordan.

The Duchess of Cambridge “loved” living in Jordan as a young child, according to her husband, the Duke of Cambridge, after her father Michael, then a British Airways manager, moved to the capital of Amman in 1984 for work and took his family.

The prince and his wife will begin their four-day visit in Jordan, with Charles meeting humanitarian groups he supports as patron, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Rescue Committee, and he will highlight the nation’s role in sheltering 650,000 registered Syrian refugees and more than two million Palestinians.

Camilla will learn about the work of Queen Rania, wife of the ruling King Abdullah II, in protecting vulnerable children and mothers, and will take part in a Women of the World event, promoting the empowerment of women.

Jordan’s royal family has been rattled after two confidants of the king’s half-brother Prince Hamzah were sentenced to 15 years over an alleged plot against the Western-allied monarchy.

Bassem Awadallah, who once served as a senior aide to the king, and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, were alleged to have conspired with Prince Hamzah and were found guilty in July of sedition and incitement.

The status of Prince Hamzah, who was put under house arrest, is not known.

Charles and Camilla at Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque in 2006 (Ian Jones/PA) (PA Archive)

In Egypt, tour highlights include a UK-Egypt reception celebrating the bond between the two counties, which will be staged overlooking the pyramids at the Giza Plateau.

The royal couple will also tour the ancient city of Alexandria.

Charles and Camilla are due to visit Cairo’s Grand Imam of Al-Azhar for discussions with the religious leader and young scholars about religious tolerance and the role of faith in stewarding the environment.

The prince and his wife last visited Egypt in 2006, while Charles toured Jordan in 2015 and Camilla visited in 2013.

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