Saturday, October 22, 2005

Charles and Camilla Visit the U.S.

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will travel to New York, Washington and San Francisco on their first joint official royal tour, palace officials say.
Officials announced brief details of the long-awaited overseas trip to the United States, which will take place in early November, on the Prince of Wales's Web site.

The couple will also attend a meeting with Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the United Nations and a lunch and dinner with U.S. President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush at the White House.

Prince Charles has been overseas on royal engagements on his own since the couple's wedding at Windsor in April, but it will be the royal couple's first royal tour together.

The prince's Web site says that the royal couple's trip was aimed at "highlighting some of the many links which bind the two countries together and have done for many years."

"It will also focus on the vital importance of the economic relationship, and the exceptional range of cultural, environmental and community links between the two nations," the statement says.
"Sustainability will be another important theme of the tour, in areas such as housing and education, and farming and food sourcing."

The U.S. has traditionally been considered "Diana-territory," the UK's Press Association reports.

The late Diana, Princess of Wales was hugely popular across the Atlantic and aides will be closely monitoring the American public's response to see how Camilla is received, PA says.

As part of the PR strategy, Charles has already been interviewed for the U.S. news program CBS's 60 Minutes for a show to be screened during his visit.

The couple will not be staying at the White House. A Clarence House spokesman told PA: "The Prime Minister doesn't when he goes. It's not normal to stay there."

Details of where Charles and Camilla are staying have not been released for security reasons, along with the exact dates of their visit.

It has been reported that they will visit Ground Zero -- the site of the 2001 terror attacks, PA says. No decision has yet been taken on whether they will travel to hurricane stricken New Orleans.

Camilla will have to overcome her fear of flying as she embarks on the busy schedule across America. She made her own whirlwind four-day trip to New York in September 1999 which was largely regarded as part of the PR strategy aimed at securing her public acceptance, PA says.
Camilla was accompanied by two of Charles key aides at the time -- spin doctor Mark Bolland and former valet Michael Fawcett -- and the trip was dubbed her "first royal tour" by the tabloids.

She was introduced to key figures in New York society and dined with Hollywood stars Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones.

When the late Princess of Wales visited the U.S. on an official tour with Charles in 1985, she famously danced with film star John Travolta at a White House dinner hosted by the then President Reagan.

Two months before she died, the Princess travelled to the U.S. in June 1997 on a Red Cross mission as part of her campaign to ban landmines.

The heir to the British throne briefly visited the States in June 2004 for the funeral of former President Ronald Reagan in Washington.

He was rumored to have been due to travel to America in 2001 but cancelled following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Charles's last official tour to the country was in 1994, although he has made a number of private visits since then.


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