Monday, March 28, 2011

Charles and Camilla exude warmth during cool and wet reception

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were given a less than rapturous welcome at their first engagement in Portugal today, but it had much to do with the weather which, the Duchess later joked, they had "brought with them from Britain".

The few spectators awaiting their arrival at the 16th century Jerónimos Monastery got cold and wet. Many were pupils from the English-language St Peter's school.

The car carrying the royal couple came armed with umbrellas, but Camilla was wearing a lovely dark blue coat much better suited to a pleasant spring day. As it was, there was a chilly wind and it was pouring with rain. 

Despite the weather, those who spoke with the royals were taken by the genuine warmth of their personalities. In their chatty exchanges, both Charles and Camilla came across as very open and natural, said Lú Batley who took these photographs.

The royal couple placed a wreath at the tomb of the iconic Portuguese poet Luís Vaz de Camões at the monastery. The Duchess was presented with a posy of flowers by seven-year-old Ilona Verdon-Roe.

Later, the royal couple were guests of honour at a state dinner at Lisbon's Queluz Palace hosted by President Aníbal Cavaco Silva and his wife, Dr Maria Cavaco Silva. The 100 guests sat down to tomato soup, sea bass and a traditional Portuguese fig-based dessert. In a toast, Charles paid tribute to the long tradition of mutual respect and cooperation between the two countries.

This was the start of a 10-day tour of Portugal, Spain and Morocco, mainly to promote UK trade.


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