Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Camilla and Charles in Fez

The much awaited visit by HRH Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, to the ancient Medina of Fez took place today. After sandstorms forced the cancellation of yesterday's trip to Errachidia, the royals were lucky to have beautiful weather for the Medina visit. The View from Fez team was out in the Medina to bring you some of the images.

From early morning the street cleaners were hard at work

Moroccan security was handled very well with no storm-water drain unchecked!

The international press were strictly managed by a Moroccan minder. The royal couple is followed by six accredited British journalists; the rest were locals.

Crowds were huge and applauded Camilla as she made her way down into the Medina

The trip to Cafe Clock was a gentle stroll during which Camilla, accompanied by her Private Secretary, the British Ambassador's wife Mrs Morris, Fatima Sadiqi and palace officials, stopped to chat with locals

Welcomed by the Jilyat women's drumming group at Cafe Clock, the Duchess met members of the expat community in Fez and the cafe staff, and then had lunch on the terrace. People were invited to meet her in small groups and Camilla was delighted by a curtsey from little Francesca Coules.

Dressed in a beautifully beaded beige silk dress with matching shoes, Camilla charmed everyone by being very approachable and interested in life in the medina. She mentioned how much her husband, The Prince of Wales, would have enjoyed lunch at the Clock, but he had other duties. Lunch was a tasty risotto with fresh asparagus spears, peas and green beans.

Also at Cafe Clock, Camilla gained a small henna tattoo

Also accompanying Camilla was Max from Cafe Clock

Camilla arriving at Cafe Clock with Max and the owner, Mike Richardson

After lunch, the Duchess took a walk in the medina. Although she was surrounded by security men and women, she was able to chat with local stallholders. After visiting a brassware shop on Tala'a Sghira, the entourage walked down Tala'a Kebira to Fondouk Kaat Smen, the honey souk. Along the way, she also bought five pairs of babouche (slippers) for a total of 350 dirhams, or $42, one for each of her grandchildren.


Prince Charles had a full day of touring various parts of the Medina, including a visit to a Medersa (Koranic school), Danan synagogue, the Al Karaouine Library and the handicrafts vocational training and qualification centre. He also spent time in the Al Batha Museum, where he was greeted by the regional directors of Morocco' Ministry of Culture and Islamic Affairs. Prince of Wales also attended a Sufi performance by the Al-Sufi and Ibno Bussairi Al-Arabi groups.

Prince Charles listens to Dr Armand Guigui at the Danan Synagogue Museum

During a discussion with Islamic scholars at the Al-Qarawiyyin University in Fez,the prince said: "One of the hardest things is to remind people of the great truth of traditional Islam, not distorted Islam, and trying to remind people of the great truth of traditional Christianity, not distorted Christianity, and we know there are problems in both religions."

Photos: Sandy McCutcheon
Reporting: Helen Ranger and Sandy McCutcheon


Anonymous said...

A great report and lovely photos!

Anonymous said...

Glad she followed my suggestion of visiting the honey souk!

Michelle said...

A really wonderful event. Wish I'd been there and heard it was fabulous.

Feel free to link to my report and photos here:

WHEN said...

Great photos, Sandy! The next Accreditted Royal reporter in Fez, I can tell :) Greetings from Hobart!