It has been more than a year and a half, since covid-19 arrived, that no member of the British royal family embarked on an official trip to a foreign country and the first to resume that part of the old normality have been Carlos of England and Camilla Parker-Bowles. The chosen destinations have been Jordan and Egypt, in a visit that is not accidental, but will mark the centenary of the Jordanian country and the bilateral relationship with the United Kingdom. The trip began while Elizabeth II continued to rest and kept her canceled schedule – which she resumed this Wednesday – and, according to the newspaper Daily Mail, the monarch herself has authorized the trip at the “last minute” and after having a telephone conversation with her son, while he is recovering from his “back injury”.
The official tour, which began this Tuesday and will last until Friday, began with the arrival of the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall in the Jordanian capital. There they were received by King Abdullah II and Queen Rania, at the Al Husseinieh Palace, the official residence of the president, in a welcome that Clarence House has described as “warm”. Abdalá II and Rania already acted as hosts for Carlos and Camilla in 2015 and 2013 the last time they visited the Jordanian country respectively and separately.
On the first day of the tour, the son of Queen Elizabeth II and his wife, accompanied by Prince Ghazi, visited the archaeological site of Al-Maghtas, located on the banks of the Jordan River, and where, according to Christian tradition, is the place where Saint John the Baptist lived and Jesus was baptized. During the visit, which was referred to in the official account on Instagram, Carlos and Camilla approached the same bank of the river and even stooped to touch the water. “It was particularly special to visit such a significant place for the three monotheistic religions, and where interreligious relations can be celebrated,” they later assured on social networks. On that same visit, they also approached the hill of Elijah, where also according to the Christian faith, the prophet Elijah was taken to heaven.
Later, Rania of Jordan herself, at the wheel of a Tesla, was in charge of taking the Duchess of Cornwall to discover the work of the Jordan River Foundation, chaired by the Jordanian queen, and which offers support to children of Jordanian origin, Palestinian and Syrian in vulnerable situation. In the center, they had a meeting with several teenagers who attended a workshop to develop self-esteem and assertiveness. In addition, Camilla Parker-Bowles was also able to see items handcrafted by local artisans and whose products are sold worldwide by Ikea. Tuesday’s day ended with a gala dinner at the monarch’s residence.
As with all royal tours, the trip has been made at the request of the Government and will serve to strengthen ties between the UK and both countries, which were under British rule in the past. During the meeting, and as explained on the official website of the Prince of Wales, special emphasis will be placed on the climate crisis and Carlos of England will be in charge of exploring “how leaders, the private sector and society in general can implement the commitments after COP26 and the World Leaders Summit ”, held this November.
This is not the first time that Charles of England and Camilla Parker-Bowles visit Jordan, but this latest trip emphasizes the importance of the links between the country and the United Kingdom, “which are based on the deep cooperation in security matters” of both territories, indicates the official statement, and the long relationship between the two royal families.
On Thursday, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are scheduled to travel to Egypt, a country that has been designated for the presidency of COP27 next year, so the visit will also be very focused on issues related to the environment , for which Carlos of England also feels a great interest. Upon arrival, the prince and duchess will meet the president, Al Sisi, and the first lady, Entissar Amer, at the Al-Ittihadiya Palace, to welcome them to the country, which they last visited in 2006.