During this visit, The Prince of Wales will represent Her Majesty The Queen at the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo. Both Their Royal Highnesses will attend the official opening ceremony and a dinner, hosted by The Prince, for Commonwealth Heads of Government. In addition, The Prince will hold a small number of meetings with Commonwealth Heads and others on issues of key importance to the Summit.
During their three-day visit, Their Royal Highnesses will also undertake a range of engagements to promote the UK-Sri Lanka relationship, particularly in key areas such as literacy, education, culture, mental health, juvenile diabetes and women’s protection and empowerment.
The Prince of Wales’s schedule includes visits to the Colombo National Museum and the British Council in Colombo. His Royal Highness will also travel to Nuwara Eliya and Kandy.
The programme for The Duchess of Cornwall includes visits to the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, the Colombo Public Library, a Home-Start Lanka Satellite Centre and the Women In Need Colombo Crisis Centre.
The Prince of Wales has visited Sri Lanka twice before – in 2005 in the aftermath of the Boxing Day tsunami and in 1998 to celebrate the island’s fifty years of independence. This will be The Duchess of Cornwall’s first official visit to Sri Lanka.
The Duchess of Cornwall has a range of interests, including literacy, health and well-being, animal welfare and helping those in need. In Britain, she is Patron of the National Literacy Trust, BookTrust and First Story, all of which help to promote literacy in young people; President of the National Osteoporosis Society, Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres and JDRF, the type 1 diabetes charity; Patron of Emmaus, a charity that provides homeless people of all ages with a home, work and the chance to rebuild their self-respect in a supportive, community environment; and Patron of Trinity Hospice and Helen & Douglas House, which looks after children and young adults with life-shortening conditions, among other charities.
In recent years, Her Royal Highness has also been keen to raise the difficult issue of sexual assault after speaking to women at a rape crisis centre in Croydon. The Duchess has done this through a number of low-key visits to rape crisis centres to meet with staff and clients who use the confidential services.
Both The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are also great supporters of the arts and regularly attend concerts and theatre shows, which are often fundraising events for charities with which they are affiliated.