Friday, 31 October 2014

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's Thursday in Colombia

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall continued their tour of Colombia on Thursday, beginning the day with a visit to the Centre for Peace, Memory and Reconciliation in Bogotá. Charles and Camilla were guided through the centre, accompanied by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and First Lady María Clemencia Rodríguez de Santos.

While speaking to families of victims, the prince spoke of his own experiences during the conflict in Northern Ireland, and the "bewildering and soul-destroying anguish" he felt on learning of the death of his uncle Lord Mountbatten, who died in an IRA bomb attack.

The prince continued:
"It is an immense tragedy that violence has cast such a long shadow across the whole of this remarkable country for the past five decades. Many of you here today will have experienced unimaginable suffering, and our hearts go out to you as you struggle to come to terms with all that has happened to you and your loved ones."

The Duchess of Cornwall was presented with a traditional Mochila bag, made by female survivors of sexual violence. Speaking to reporters she said: 'I was humbled by the courage of the Colombian women I met today, who had been raped like so many others, in horrendous circumstances, and I salute their determination to bring rape and sexual abuse out of the shadows into the light.'

From the Centre for Peace, Memory and Reconciliation, the Prince of Wales travelled by military helicopter to La Macarena in the Meta Department, 280 km south of Bogotá, formerly part of the agreed El Caguán demilitarized zone between government forces and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People's Army (FARC). The prince met members of the military at a base near the town.

In the town, Prince Charles visited La Macarena Church, which was built by rebel fighters, and spoke with representatives of the town and viewed the church's mural, which features the Twelve Apostles portrayed as Colombian people talking with Jesus.

Outside the Prince of Wales was greeted by a crowd of well-wishers who turned out to see him.

One little girl even managed to kiss the prince as he was chatting to a gathering of schoolchildren.

While another presented him with a gift to remember his visit by.

The town of La Macarena is now a centre for ecotourism and the area's natural beauty features the stunning Serranía de la Macarena mountain range and the striking river Caño Cristales, commonly known as the "river of five colours".

Astromario - Creative Commons

 The colouring comes from the area's geology and riverweeds and it's hoped the growth of ecotourism will boost the local economy in help in the promotion of peace.

The Prince of Wales' visit should certainly draw attention to this amazing landscape.

While the prince was in La Macarena, the Duchess of Cornwall was visiting Quinta de Bolívar Garden with First Lady María Clemencia Rodríguez de Santos.

The house Quinta de Bolívar was built in the 17th century and during the 19th century came to be associated with South American political and military leader Simón Bolívar, who stayed at the house while visiting Bogotá and during Colombia's war of independence from Spain. The house became a national monument and museum to the independence struggle and later held diplomatic receptions.

The duchess planted a rose in the garden.

After the trip to Quinta de Bolívar, the Duchess of Cornwall visited Escuela de Caballería del Ejercito, the Colombian cavalry academy in Bogotá, where she met staff and personnel and some of the horses, too.

There was also an equestrian show during which the Camilla and Mrs. Rodríguez de Santos met children and their ponies.

It was another fascinating day on what has turned out to be a most interesting tour for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.


  1. I had no idea that Columbia was such a beautiful country, the red river is simply stunning!! I think it's wonderful for countries to promote eco-tourism, it's such a win-win idea. I do wish there was more news coverage of this royal tour, as you said Charlotte this visit by the royals should draw much attention to this amazing country.

    Oh, I see Camilla is using the clutch she received as a gift on this tour!!! I think it goes so well with her outfit, what a nice touch!

    Lastly, isn't that kiss too precious!!!

  2. Very interesting---Camilla looks great and deserves praise for the support for victims of sexual violence, both here at home and now on this tour.
    They both look very happy.

  3. Great causes - indeed! Also, has anyone noticed how stylish Camilla looks lately? I am very (very!!) pleasantly surprised. Didn't think of her as having a sense of style before - but I like her outfits laterly - cannot find any fault with them.



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