FLYING THE FLAG FOR BRITAIN: It’s not only the young royals who are making a grand tour of Europe this year: The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are also packing their bags in preparation for a trip early next month that will see them visit Italy, Romania, Austria and the Holy See.
During the Italian leg of the visit, Prince Charles will speak at an event at Palazzo Pitti in connection with The Campaign for Wool, the global initiative he founded that raises awareness about the benefits of the fiber.
The prince, the campaign’s royal patron, will speak about using wool in fashion. He will also be the guest of honor at a dinner to mark the centenary of the British Institute of Florence. The prince will be presented with a Renaissance Man of the Year Award, an annual accolade given by the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation.
On a visit to Naples, the Duchess of Cornwall will visit the E. Marinella tie and scarf manufacturer, which sources its silks from Macclesfield, near Cheshire, England.
During their tour, the royal couple will meet Pope Francis, while the prince will travel to Amatrice in central Italy to meet residents affected by the earthquake that hit the region in August 2016.
The tour is meant to highlight the U.K.’s relationship with European partners in areas including social cohesion, military ties and combating human trafficking. The couple will also meet the presidents of Italy, Austria and Romania, while Prince Charles will visit the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and join discussions that are taking place on modern slavery and freedom of religion and belief.
Last weekend, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in Paris on a trip that was also meant to strengthen bonds between the U.K. and its fellow European countries ahead of Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Next week, Prime Minister Theresa May is set to trigger Article 50, setting the Brexit process into motion. The royals’ trips to the continent are widely seen as a charm offensive on the part of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in what is expected to be a difficult two years of negotiations.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are set to visit Germany and Poland this summer, although the dates have not been announced.