Charles in Romania: Day One

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Image via Clarence House

I’m going to make this quick because it’s well past midnight my time, but I do want to capture as much of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall’s European tour over the next several days as possible. The first leg of it is being carried out solo by Charles as he undertakes a series of engagements in Romania between Wednesday and Friday of this week, before meeting Camilla in Florence on Saturday.

Already I’ve learned something new just from lightly tracking the press coverage: Who knew Charles was such a big fan of Romania? I didn’t, but it’s interesting (to me) since I recently did a post on Missy of Edinburgh, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria who married into the Romanian Royal Family and became its queen consort. The post was just a brief anecdote from her later life I found amusing, but it highlights the extensive ties the Windsors maintained with Eastern Europe, Romania in particular, in mid-20th century. It’s nice to see those continued to be honored today with Charles.

For example, he apparently owns two properties there, one in Valea Zalanului and another in Viscri, and apparently regularly visits the country privately. Seriously, who knew?

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Image via Clarence House

Anyway, today the Prince arrived in Bucharest and started the trip off by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier and meeting with UK military personnel stationed there. He then met with President Klaus Iohannis at the Cotroceni presidential palace where he spoke to the enduring friendship between the two nations. “It means a very great deal to me to have built a special partnership with Romania,” he said. “I know that the United Kingdom has also built a very deep and special partnership with your nation. I know that will endure, as will my own.”

He also referenced his own Romanian ancestry by way of Vlad the Impaler (on whom Dracula is based), saying, “Romania is in my blood.”

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Image via Clarence House

According to news reports, discussions between Charles and President Iohannis will focus on strategic partnerships in security, the Romanian community’s situation in the UK and Charles’s local charitable foundation. In 2015 he started the Prince of Wales Foundation Romania, a charity that supports the country’s heritage, rural life and sustainable development.

Charles was awarded the Order of the Star of Romania – the country’s highest civilian order –  in what must have been a bit of a highlight. The honor is meant to recognize exceptional services to the Romanian State and its people.

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Image via Clarence House

So there you have it, one day down for the Prince of Wales. I must say, as compared with covering the goings-on of the Duchess of Cambridge, it’s a bit more of a struggle to confirm a rundown of who, what, when and where. For one: I have no idea who Charles wore today. A blue suit. I think that covers it?

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