On his third day in Mexico, The Prince of Wales made a number of solo engagements. Unfortunately the Duchess of Cornwall, who is suffering from sinus problems, was unable to accompany her husband.
The Prince of Wales’s first engagement of the day took him to the Edzna Archaeological Site in Campeche, Mexico, where The Prince posed for a picture in front of the Acropolis, joking that it was just “one old ruin in front of another”. Later, he was shown around the enormous plaza and five-storeyed Great Acropolis by Alfredo Euan Xool, a Mexican with Mayan ancestry.
Edzna is an ancient structure, which was inhabited by the Mayans from around 400BC to the 15th century. It has the vestiges of a modern day city, including a drainage system and rainwater collection facilities.
“People of high status lived here, maybe two to three thousand, and the rest of society lived in the surrounding area”, Mr. Xool explained. “We don’t know why they abandoned it, there are theories, maybe there was a drought or maybe the harvest failed for some other reason”, he continued.
Prince Charles later paid a visit to the coastal town of Campeche, where he was persuaded by some local performers to join in a dance known as the Campechano Sarao. The Prince proved to be a good sport, and was very soon twirling his handkerchief around his head as he tapped his feet to the rhythm.
Charles’s dancing skills earned him praise from Carlos Javier Zamorano, a member of the dance troupe who said: “Even though he doesn’t know the steps, his dancing was really good – he tried, that’s the most important thing. For me I’m surprised he did it. If he had more time to practice, he would be very good.”
And, as if The Prince’s jovial air and high spirits at his intended engagements weren’t enough, he also took it upon himself to carry out an engagement on behalf of his ill wife. Charles visited the Women’s Justice Centre, an organisation which provides a refuge from women who have been victims of domestic abuse.
His Royal Highness spoke to a number of women who had escaped abusive relationships and been helped by the Women’s Justice Centre and, in the process, he found out about how the women are rebuilding their lives and raising their children in a new environment.
Before leaving, Prince Charles was treated to a dance performance by a group of young girls, dressed in traditional costumes, and posed for a picture with them after they had finished.
Before he left, The Prince was presented with a portrait of Camilla made out of colourful card by Angelo Esteban, a young boy at the Centre. He had originally meant to give it to The Duchess herself, but Charles assured him that she would receive it, saying: “She was so sorry not to have been here to see you.”
Later during their tour of Mexico, the Royal couple will visit Monterrey, where Prince Charles will meet prominent businesses and talk about social corporate responsibility. If Camilla feels well enough, she is expected to go down the Santa Lucia river walk by boat.