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Prince Charles says “Greece is in my blood” as he sets to arrive today

Prince Charles says "Greece is in my blood" as he sets to arrive today 1

Prince Charles and Camilla

Prince Charles of Wales and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will arrive in Greece today on a three-day official visit, following an invitation by President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

Ahead of his visit, Prince Charles told Greek publication Ekathimerini, “Apart from anything else, Greece is in my blood and I have long had a fascination for her ancient culture and history, not to mention the fact that I have been so fortunate to have visited some of Greece’s many beautiful and unique places,” said the heir to the throne.

Charles’ father, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was born in Corfu in 1921 and Prince Charles has visited Greece on many occasions, however this is the first official visit.

According to the President’s office, the two royal guests will be meeting with Pavlopoulos, the Prime Minister and the main opposition leader on Wednesday, and with Archbishop Hieronymos on Thursday. On Friday they are scheduled to visit archaeological sites and a refugee community on Crete.

Their full schedule is as follows:

WEDNESDAY, May 9

– Arrival at Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (14:50), laying of wreath at the Unknown Soldier’s Tomb (15:20-15:30)

– Received by President Prokopios Pavlopoulos and his wife at the Presidential Mansion (15:35), until the prince departs for Maximos Mansion to meet with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (16:10). 

– Prince meets with main opposition party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis (16:45) 

– The couple’s first day wraps up with formal dinner in their honor by President Pavlopoulos at the Presidential Mansion (20:30)

THURSDAY, May 10

– Prince of Wales meets with Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Hieronymus at the archdiocese (10:00) and then visits the 11th-century Kapnikarea Church on Ermou Str. (11:10)

– Prince lays a wreath at the Allied Cemetery of Alimos, in the presence of Commonwealth country ambassadors and the mayors of Alimos and Athens (11:35)

– Following this event, the prince is scheduled to pay successive visits to HMS “Echo” (British warship in NATO force) and HMC “Valiant” (British port authority ship), the “Olympias”” reconstruction of an ancient Athenian trireme (where he will be received by National Defence Minister Panos Kammenos), and the historic warship “Averof” (of which he will be given a tour and where he is scheduled to meet with top navy officers and students at the navy school) 

– Prince attends a reception in his honor by representatives of the Merchant Marine at the Mikrolimano Yacht Club (15:00) 

– Prince visits the the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center and attends an international educational conference organized by the British Council (15:45)

FRIDAY, May 11

– Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall fly to Iraklio, Crete, to visit the archaeological site of Knossos. They will be welcomed there by Culture Ministry Secretary General Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki. The prince will then meet with members of the British School at its facilities in the Villa Ariadni, former residence of Sir Arthur Evans, who excavated Knossos.

– Prince visits the Heraklion Development Company, a local community business promoting the area’s development, where he will be briefed on its activities (14:25) 

– Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit a refugee community housed at the old community school.

The couple’s visit to Crete will conclude with a visit to Archanes for local cultural events, before they departing from Iraklio Airport on a special flight at 16:20.