Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Fez Awaits Royal Visit

Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrived Monday in Rabat, Morocco, for a three-day official visit. The couple, visiting at the invitation of King Mohammed VI, were met on landing by the king's younger brother Prince Moulay Rachid, Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi and other cabinet members.

The royal pair will be hosted by Mohammed VI in Rabat, after which they will travel to Errachidia in the south of the country to visit an anti-desertification project.

The Moroccan prime minister, Abbas El Fassi, said the Prince had arrived in the country while it was in the middle of a revolution. He said: "This is a very big event for Morocco, for the King to have invited the Prince, and it will reaffirm the historic relationship between the two countries.

"This visit is a symbol because it comes at a moment of instability in many countries and the Prince, by visiting Morocco, is confirming that Morocco is a stable country."
Mr El-Fassi added: "There is a reshaping (of the political system). It's a revolution, a peaceful revolution."

During their tour today, TRH visited the 1st Brigade Infanterie Parachutiste, where they saw a number of peacekeeping training skills being taught in the classrooms there. Prince Charles is Colonel-In-Chief of the UK's Parachute Regiment and was wearing a regimental tie and badge on his lapel.

The visit ended with a display of 22 parachutists jumping from a plane at 800 metres and landing yards from where TRH were watching. They watched through binoculars and then clapped as each soldier handed. The first parachutists were carrying the British and Moroccan flags.

Photograph: Chris Jackson
Following the Royal party's visit to the mausoleum, where the Duchess covered her head with a scarf in keeping with Muslim tradition, the Duchess was treated to a private fashion show at the Villa des Arts cultural centre in Rabat. Three local designers showed off richly embroidered couture kaftans before the Duchess posed for pictures with the nine models wearing the dresses.on

The couple ended the day with an audience and private dinner with King Mohammed VI at the Palais Dar Salam in Rabat.

Then, tomorrow, it is on to Fez. The schedule in Fez is surprisingly relaxed with much of the security being particularly low-key. Hopefully, The View from Fez will be able to report on a couple of the engagements.

We understand that the "Camilla Watchers" will be out in force !

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