It has been a busy day for the first in line to the throne. Just hours before his grandson was christened, the Prince of Wales hosted Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi at Clarence House.
Ms Suu Kyi last visited the UK in June of last year
The Nobel peace laureate specifically requested to meet the royal couple on her tour which also saw her meet political leaders including Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary William Hague and the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband.
Charles and Camilla accompanied Ms Suu Kyi into the Garden Room at Clarence House as the Prince explained “there’s endless people taking photographs”. Ms Suu Kyi simply replied “you’ve got to obey the photographers”, to which the Prince said “that’s the best policy”.
The Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall then sat down with the Burmese opposition leader and began talks which lasted for approximately 45 minutes. She last met the Prince in exactly the same location last June.
Ms Suu Kyi has close connections with the UK, having read philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University between 1964 and 1967. She then settled in the city with her late husband Michael Aris, a Tibetan scholar.
In 1989, around a year after her return to her Burma, Ms Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest by the military which feared the influence of a woman whose father was instrumental in gaining Burma’s freedom from British rule. She was finally released from house arrest in 2010.
Ms Suu Kyi’s late husband died from prostate cancer in 1999. He knew Charles, and in the year in which he died, the Prince became patron of the Michael Aris Memorial Trust for Tibetan and Himalayan Studies.
Ms Suu Kyi is also connected to Charles through the Prince’s great uncle, Lord Mountbattern who worked closely with Ms Suu Kyi’s father about issues leading up to Burma’s independence from British rule. They both played a crucial role leading up to Burma becoming independent.
During her last visit in 2012, Ms Suu Kyi left Charles a gift of a black tulip magnolia sapling, which was planted in the garden. Charles took her to see the progress that the tree had made. Charles told Ms Suu Kyi: “I’m so glad it’s there.” And Ms Suu Kyi replied: “It’s looking very nice.”
Just a couple of hours later, Prince Charles was at his grandson, Prince George’s christening.
photo credit: UK Parliament via photopin cc
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