Charles to visit Bosnia, Cyprus and Jordan
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are to carry out the first official royal visit to Cyprus for 27 years.
Charles and Camilla will travel to the Eastern Mediterranean republic for a four-day stay in March to recognise the work of the UN Peacekeeping Force and celebrate traditional Cypriot culture.
Their trip will be followed by a tour to Jordan, and beforehand, Charles will pay a solo visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina to pay his respects in the 25th anniversary year of the Srebrenica genocide.
The tour of Cyprus – the first since the Queen’s visit in 1993 – comes in the year marking the 60th anniversary of the island’s independence from British colonial rule.
The Queen’s trip was met with protests amid objections to the monarch receiving the golden key to the capital Nicosia.
Cypriot nationalists held the Queen personally responsible for the executions in 1955 of nine Eoka guerrilla fighters arrested during the violent independence struggle, saying she could have commuted their death sentences.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went to RAF Akrotiri in December 2018, but the military base is in the Western Sovereign Base area – a British Overseas Territory.
Cyprus has been divided since Turkey invaded in 1974 after a failed coup by supporters of union with Greece.
The island joined the EU in 2004, but only the southern part enjoys full membership benefits.
The royal visit is aimed at celebrating ties between the island and the UK, and the programme will include a trip to the UN Buffer Zone to acknowledge the peacekeeping work being undertaken by the UN, and highlight initiatives aimed at building links between the communities of Cyprus, with the couple meeting both Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot community members.
Cyprus is, according to legend, the birthplace of the ancient Greek goddess of love Aphrodite.
Charles and Camilla will experience traditional Cypriot culture, food and crafts, visiting Nicosia, the Troodos mountains, and the Larnaca district.