Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will make a nine day visit to India next month before moving on to Sri Lanka where The Prince will represent Her Majesty The Queen at the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
This will be Their Royal Highnesses third official visit to India together. They will undertake a broad range of engagements to promote the strong UK-India partnership in key areas such as conservation, education, growing business links, women’s empowerment and training. They will also have the opportunity to celebrate religious diversity, creativity and the vibrant individual family ties between the two countries.
In their most extensive visit to India to date, The Prince and The Duchess will travel to Dehradun, New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Kochi where they will meet India’s top political, business and cultural leaders.
Specific events include The Prince making an off-road trip into an “elephant corridor” in Kerala, The Duchess visiting the prestigious Doon School, and both Their Royal Highnesses visiting the Indian Military Academy and attending a gala dinner in Mumbai with a Bollywood flavour. They will also mark Remembrance Sunday while in India.
In Sri Lanka, The Prince of Wales will officially represent Her Majesty The Queen at the 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. While in Sri Lanka, The Prince and The Duchess will also carry out a programme of official engagements including a visit to a mental health initiative, a hospital and a tea estate. The Prince last visited in 2005 in the aftermath of the Boxing Day tsunami.
In a speech made at The University of the West Indies in Trinidad in 2000 titled ‘The Commonwealth in The New Millennium’, The Prince of Wales described the uniqueness and relevance of the Commonwealth: “I have long had an instinctive sense of the value of the Commonwealth. It encourages and celebrates cultural diversity and makes no attempt to homogenize.”
For more information about The Prince of Wales and the Commonwealth go to http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/