“Greece has long held the most special place in my heart,” says Prince Charles

"Greece has long held the most special place in my heart," says Prince Charles

"Greece has long held the most special place in my heart," says Prince Charles

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, said he is “delighted” to be back in Greece, which has long held the most special place in his heart.

Charles and his wife Camilla touched down in Greece on Wednesday, on their first international trip of the year. They were greeted by an honour guard at the airport.

The couple visited the National Gallery before attending an official state dinner at the presidential mansion where Charles gave a speech to mark the 200-year anniversary.

At the official ceremony celebrating the restored and modernised National Gallery in Athens, Charles and Camilla were greeted by Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis and his wife Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotaki.

During the tour by the director of the National Gallery, Professor Marina Lambraki-Plaka, the Prince of Wales appeared particularly interested by the painting ‘The Army Camp of General Karaiskakis’ by artist Theodoros P. Vryzakis.

https://twitter.com/ClarenceHouse/status/1374785085153624065

Later in the evening, Charles and Camilla were guests at an official state dinner hosted by the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou at the Presidential Mansion.

Charles said: “My wife and I could not be more delighted to be back in Greece, which has long held the most special place in my heart. After all, Greece is the land of my grandfather; and of my father’s birth, nearly one hundred years ago, in the centenary year of Greek Independence.

“Later, it was in Athens that my dear grandmother, Princess Alice, during the dark years of Nazi occupation, sheltered a Jewish family – an act for which in Israel she is counted as ‘Righteous Among The Nations’.

“In feeling a profound connection to Greece – her landscapes, her history and her culture – I am hardly alone: there is something of her essence in us all. As the wellspring of Western civilisation, Greece’s spirit runs through our societies and our democracies. Without her, our laws, our art, our way of life, would never have flourished as they have.”

The heir to the throne also hailed the “strong and vital” ties between the UK and Greece.

“Your Excellency – today, as in 1821, Greece can count on her friends in the United Kingdom.

“The ties between us are strong and vital, and make a profound difference to our shared prosperity and security.

“Just as our histories are closely bound together, so too are our futures. In this spirit, tomorrow, stood beside you once again, your British friends will take great pride in Dionýsios Solomós’s rousing exhortation: Χαίρε, ω χαίρε, ελευθεριά.”

On Thursday, the couple will attend a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watch the Independence Day Military Parade.

*More on GCT: Prince Charles expresses “Greece is very much part of my identity”
GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.