Charles and Camilla snapped in swimming costumes on Barbados beach by paparazzi

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s tour of the Caribbean threatens to be overshadowed by paparazzi pictures taken of the royal couple relaxing on a Barbados beach.

Charles and Camilla were photographed in their swimming costumes during their day off on Monday, just as their major Commonwealth trip, with an historic visit to Cuba, began.

In a series of pictures, the heir to the throne and his wife are seen strolling along the sand with their matching hotel beach towels under their arms.

The prince is wearing a pair of multi-coloured flower-print trunks while his wife is in a dark blue one-piece costume.

Charles is seen up to his thighs in the turquoise water and in another image he has emerged after a dip and has wet hair.

The images do not appear to have been used yet by British media outlets and it is understood a letter from the prince’s solicitor has been sent to press organisations highlighting his reasonable expectation to privacy.

The tour began on Sunday when Charles briefly visited St Lucia for a few hours and marked the 40th anniversary of the country’s independence.

The Prince of Wales is presented with flowers as he attends the Governor-General’s Reception at the Serenity Hotel, Coconut Bay, St Lucia
Charles is presented with flowers as he attends the Governor-General’s Reception at the Serenity Hotel, Coconut Bay, St Lucia (Jane Barlow/PA)

He travelled that night to Barbados to be reunited with his wife, who had flown out ahead of the start of the tour.

A source said the pictures were taken during a brief off-duty moment on a major international tour on behalf of the Government, in circumstances where the couple would have a reasonable expectation of privacy during private down time.

Clarence House has declined to comment.

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