As we speak, the Prince of Wales has safely arrived in Florence where he was met by the Duchess of Cornwall for the next leg of his European tour. All told and unsurprisingly, Charles was a smash hit in Romania and his engagements picked up a fair bit of media coverage in the last 36 hours.
After introductions and meeting with President Iohannis in Bucharest, he sat down with Crown Princess Margareta yesterday for an afternoon tea. As some very quick background, Margareta is the eldest daughter of King Michael I, who was named heir presumptive to the abolished Romanian throne in 1997. The Royal Family has been without their crown, so to speak, since 1947, however the King’s move was a symbolic gesture that offered up a candidate should Romania ever reinstate its monarchy – one which also proposed the removal of Salic Law, which prohibits a woman from inheriting the throne.
Margareta and her husband, Prince Radu, hosted Charles for tea at Elisabeta Palace, which led to a plethora of photos of the two exchanging kissed hands and cheeks. All around, it appeared to be a warm meeting. The two are, of course, distant cousins, both descended from Queen Victoria.
Earlier in the day yesterday, Charles visited the FARA Foundation in Popesti Leordeni, an orphanage just outside of Bucharest, of which he is a patron. The engagement may have been the highlight of the trip – Charles was greeted with hugs and kisses by two sisters who live at the facility and there was an anecdote reported in the papers of a little boy practicing saying, “My name is Paul” in English ahead of the Prince’s visit. In response, Charles responded, “Your English is much better than my Romanian, I’ve got a lot to learn.”
Charles also visited Patriarch Daniel, head of the Romanian Orthodox Church, at his palace in Bucharest for a meeting, and went on a quick a shopping trip at a local museum followed by a traditional dance, which was well-captured by photographers covering the trip.
Today, his last in Romania, Charles finally had the chance to (once again) highlight his descent from Vlad the Impaler, when he passed by a statue during a walking tour of Bucharest. He also visited a school and a children’s club in Vizuresti, a small village north of Bucharest.
Since then, Charles has met up with Camilla in Florence, where the couple have posed for a photo-op to mark their arrival. This evening, they attended a reception at the British Institute, which we’ll cover in more detail tomorrow. They’ll be in Italy for the next few days, before a brief stop in Vienna and returning to the UK.