Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall are to make a nine-day visit to Colombia and Mexico later this month, Clarence House announced earlier today.
Charles and Camilla have been invited to visit the two countries between the 28th October and 5th November, by Juan Manuel Santos Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto, Presidents of Colombia and Mexico, respectively. Clarence House have described the visit as “a major boost to the bilateral relationship between the UK and these two dynamic and influential nations in Latin America.”
The Royal couple will undertake a busy and varied schedule of engagements and both are said to be looking forward to experiencing the “richly varied and beautiful” environment in both countries. The engagements are likely to tie in with areas on which the UK, Colombia and Mexico are committed including combatting climate change; an area where The Prince of Wales is particularly vocal.
Other key areas include improving trade and investment, creating youth opportunities, encouraging corporate responsibility, preserving historical and cultural links and supporting victims of sexual and domestic abuse; the latter of which, in particular, Camilla has been a supporter.
This will be Camilla’s first visit to Colombia, although Charles has visited once before in 1974 as a Naval Officer. Both The Prince and The Duchess have visited Mexico before; The Duchess, once, in a personal capacity and The Prince, four times, in 1966, 1970, 1993 and last in 2002.
Travelling first to Colombia, Charles and Camilla are scheduled to arrive in Bogota on Tuesday 28th October before being received by the President and First Lady the following day. The Prince and Duchess will be welcomed at an official ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Bogota; Casa de Nariño and the President and First Lady will also host an Official Banquet in their honour.
Several engagements will focus on the traditional arts and crafts in Bogota, along with organic food and wool, historical architecture and trade and investment. Charles and Camilla’s visit also coincides with the 75th anniversary of the British Council in Colombia and celebratory engagements are also on the agenda.
Central to the programme in Bogota will be the Peace and Reconciliation ceremony which will take place at a specially constructed Centre for Peace, Memory and Reconciliation. The ceremony, which is to remember the victims of Colombia’s armed conflict, will allow The Prince and Duchess to show the UK’s support for the peace process and they will meet representatives from communities most affected by the conflict.
Later in the day, The Duchess of Cornwall will attend a high-level meeting for charities and Government representatives working on various initiatives in the field of preventing sexual violence in conflict.
The Prince will visit the Macarena National Park in southern Colombia, in order to highlight the Colombian Government’s commitment to environmental protection and the Amazon 2020 vision.
Ending their five-day visit to Colombia on the 1st November, the Royal couple will visit Cartagena and undertake a number of engagements. The Prince of Wales will speak at the “Health of the Oceans” international conference where he will deliver the concluding speech.
The conference, aimed at promoting sustainability in the development of marine economies, will be attended by 100 participants from Colombian Government agencies, charities and senior expert representatives from other Caribbean countries.
To end the visit to Colombia, Charles and Camilla are scheduled to make an appearance at a sunset ceremony aboard HMS Argyll, due to be moored in Cartagena. Charles will take part in the ceremony in his capacity as Admiral of the Fleet.
Beginning their visit to Mexico on Sunday 2nd November, The Prince and The Duchess will start their visit in the town of Real del Monte; considered the birthplace of the relationship between the UK and Mexico. Cornish miners, who first arrived in the town in 1825 from Falmouth, helped to resuscitate the Mexican silver mining industry.
Real del Monte is still twinned with Redruth in Cornwall and the date of the Royal visit will also be the ‘Day of the Dead’, a public holiday where Mexicans remember relatives and friends who have died and visit their graves.
Their Royal Highnesses will mark the occasion by visiting the Cornish cemetery in Real del Monte, which contains the only known British WW1 memorial in Mexico to a Cornish immigrant who died at the Battle of the Somme. Charles, who also has the title of Duke of Cornwall, will lay a wreath alongside his wife, The Duchess, at the memorial.
Moving on to the capital, Mexico City, the Mexican President and First Lady will facilitate an official welcome to the Royals at the Presidential Palace. Other events will include a reception at the historical Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso to announce the Year of the UK in Mexico and the Year of Mexico in the UK in 2015 – a programme designed to promote collaboration in the fields of education, science and innovation, culture, and business.
Their Royal Highnesses will also visit the Edzna Maya archaeological site in Campeche, which dates back to 400BC. During their tour of the site they will learn about restoration and meet some of the workers who have helped to successfully restore the ruins.
On the last day of their visit to Mexico, The Prince and The Duchess will visit Monterrey, the business and industrial centre of northern Mexico. They will receive an official welcome by the Governor before undertaking a programme of events that will highlight the successful regeneration of Monterrey’s historical sites.
The Prince will meet representatives of some of Mexico’s leading businesses and government agencies to support their role in developing youth entrepreneurship and innovation.
Royal Central will continue to update our channels as more information regarding the visit is announced. For the latest news, ensure that you follow us on Twitter: @RoyalCentral.
Featured Image Credit: Thomas Hawk