September 27, 2020

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive in Cuba for first-ever official royal visit


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by Stephanie Petit From People

Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

has never made a state visit to , which came under Communist rule in 1959 by

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall just made royal history!

The couple touched down for the latest stop of their 12-day Caribbean touron Sunday in Cuba, marking the first time that members of the British royal family have made an official visit to the country. (Queen Elizabeth has never made a state visit to Cuba, which came under Communist rule in 1959 by Fidel Castro.)

Charles, 70, and Camilla, 71, will explore the cultural and academic connections between the U.K. and Cuba, including key themes, such as the arts, youth entrepreneurship, heritage restoration and sustainable agriculture.

Following an official welcome, the royal couple started their trip with a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial of Cuba’s national hero, essayist and poet José Martí.

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

and Camilla, Duchess of CornwallADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images

Prince Charles
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles and Cuba's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ana Teresita

Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles and Cuba’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ana Teresita ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images

Prince Charles

tPrince CharlesYAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images

On Monday, they will take a guided tour of Old Havana with the city’s official Historian Eusebio Leal, visit a community center in Havana and meet some young Cuban entrepreneurs before attending an official dinner hosted by President Miguel Díaz-Canel.

Charles and Camilla will explore Havana for a second day on Tuesday, meeting owners of classic British cars and paying a visit to a Cuban music recording studio. The couple will also visit one of the country’s leading dance studios, and the Prince of Wales will travel out of Havana to learn more about renewable energy and organic farming in Cuba. The duo will later attend a reception hosted by the British Ambassador.

Charles and Camilla will depart Cuba on Wednesday after visiting the country’s south coast to learn more about local flora and fauna. Prince Charles will also attend a roundtable discussion on environmental conservation, a subject close to his heart, while Camilla will visit an equestrian center helping students from primary school level through to the country’s National team. She will also attend a roundtable to discuss the work being done to help those affected by domestic violence before heading to the next stop on their tour: the Cayman Islands.

Lionel Richie and Prince Charles

Lionel Richie and Prince Charles Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

Charles and Camilla’s trip to the Caribbean also includes stops in Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, St. Kitts and Grenada. In Barbados, the Queen’s eldest son and heir met with Lionel Richie at the Coral Reef Club Hotel to officially name him as an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust International.

Charles thanked the singer for taking the position —and added in a quip quoting Richie’s 1983 hit “Hello.” The royal told him, “It must have been you I was looking for.”

“Oh, did you just say that?” Richie replied, feigning shock. “He did say that.”

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