Prince Charles and Camilla announce Middle East trip

Trip will be couple's first major overseas tour since pandemic began

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The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will be visiting the Middle East next month in their first major overseas tour since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Clarence House said Prince Charles and wife Camilla have been asked by the government to visit Jordan and Egypt with the visits planned for November 16 to 19.

The prince, a longstanding environmentalist, will be focusing on issues of climate change during the visits, his deputy private secretary Chris Fitzgerald said.

However, the British royals would also discuss matters of interfaith dialogue, women's empowerment and efforts to preserve cultural heritage.

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

“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 [Cop26] 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 prince previously said he was "deeply disappointed" that their planned visit to Jordan in March was delayed by the pandemic.

Jordan and Egypt are already seeing the impacts of climate change with droughts, extreme weather events, loss of habitats and rising temperatures impacting livelihoods and putting a strain on services.

Meet the beekeeper of Um Qais, fighting to preserve Jordan's nature

Meet the beekeeper of Um Qais, fighting to preserve Jordan's nature

The British royal family has longstanding close ties with many of the ruling families of the Middle East, including Jordan.

In a video message broadcast in April to mark Jordan's centenary, Prince Charles celebrated the "100 years of partnership" between the nations and praised the shared "passion for biodiversity in all its forms" that he holds with King Abdullah.

"The kingdom and people of Jordan have always been very dear to my heart and I have so many cherished visits over the years," he said.

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, “loved” living in Jordan as a young child after her father, Michael, then a British Airways manager, moved the family to Amman in 1984.

Prince Charles and Camilla will begin their four-day visit in Jordan, with the British heir meeting humanitarian groups he supports as patron, including the UN refugee agency and the International Rescue Committee.

Charles will highlight Jordan's role in sheltering 650,000 registered Syrian refugees and more than 2 million Palestinians.

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

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

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

Prince Charles and Camilla are due to visit Cairo’s Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, for discussions with the religious leader and young scholars about religious tolerance and the role of faith in caring for the environment.

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

Updated: October 26, 2021, 11:35 AM