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.
Tours are a significant part of the royal calendar and allow the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to use their legendary ‘soft power’, opening doors not normally available to diplomats and politicians.
But the royal family have had their wings clipped as a result of the Covid pandemic and this will be the first royal overseas tour for almost two years.
The prince and duchess are both double jabbed and will likely have had their boosters by the time the trip takes place. As the Queen no longer travels abroad, any trip by Charles is akin to a state visit and treated with huge significance.
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. Pictured in Jordan in 2013. Clarence House shared the news with a number of throwback images
Clarence House said Prince Charles, 72, and Camilla, 74, have been asked by the British government to visit Jordan and Egypt and will tour the countries from November 16 to 19. Pictured, the royal couple in Egypt in 2006
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.
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. Pictured, the royal couple in Egypt in 2006
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.
Charles and Camilla will begin their four-day visit in Jordan, with the prince 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.
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.’ Pictured, the royal couple in Jordan in 2013
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.
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.