Charles lays a wreath at tomb of Unknown Soldier in Athens before he and Camilla watch military parade on visit to Greece after prince declared country ‘has special place in my heart’
- Couple on two-day visit to attend Bicentenary Independence Day celebrations after an invite from Greek PM
- Charles and Camilla’s two-day visit to mark Greece’s 200th anniversary of independence from Ottoman rule
- Charles, whose father was born a prince of Greece and Denmark, told Greeks they ‘can count on’ UK friends
Prince Charles and wife Camilla are spending their second day in Greece where they are marking the country’s 200th anniversary of independence from Ottoman rule.
The couple landed in Athens last night and Charles, whose father Philip was born a prince of Greece and Denmark, later told Greeks they ‘can count on’ UK friends.
This morning, the couple attended the Greek Independence Day Military Parade at Syntagma Square in Athens.
Charles and Camilla landed at Athens International Airport at just before 5.30pm local time on Wednesday.
The couple are attending the Bicentenary Independence Day celebrations, following an invitation from Greece’s prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Today, the couple are attending a wreath laying at the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier and watch the Independence Day Military Parade which marks Greece’s uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1821.
In previous years, thousands of people waving Greek flags have lined the main streets of central Athens to watch the March 25 parade.
The brief tour will be Charles’ third official visit to Greece following his first in 1998 and a further trip in 2018 with Camilla, her first official visit to the country.
The couple have already travelled overseas during the Covid-19 pandemic, visiting Germany in November for a brief two-day trip to attend commemorations marking the country’s National Day of Mourning.
Clarence House announced the visit to Athens last week in a statement which said: ‘At the request of the British Government, Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will attend the Bicentenary Independence Day celebrations in Athens from March 24-25.
‘This follows an invitation from the prime minister of Greece, Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
‘The Bicentenary Event’s Independence Day celebrations will take place from the evening of Wednesday March 24 and will conclude on Thursday March 25.’
Last July, Charles said he hoped to visit Greece again after the pandemic.
In an opinion piece for Ta Nea, a daily newspaper in the country, he sent his ‘heartfelt wishes to the people of Greece at this very difficult time’.
He added: ‘The resilience of Greece and her people has been tested before, and I hope that the country will once again emerge with renewed vigour and optimism.
‘When that moment comes and the world has made its way through this challenging time, my wife and I do so hope to visit Greece and to see you all again.
‘Until we meet again.’
Charles described Greece as ‘the land of my grandfather’ and recalled how his first visit there more than five decades ago had left a ‘vivid impression’ on him.