The Prince of Wales visits Amatrice


The Prince of Wales visited Amatrice today, a town in central Italy that was hit badly by earthquakes last year.

The Prince of Wales in Amatrice
The Prince of Wales in Amatrice

His Royal Highness met survivors of an earthquake that reduced their homes to rubble and left hundreds dead during a tour of the small town. The 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck Amatrice and nearby villages on 24th August 2016, killing almost 300 people in the region.

The Prince was taken into the rubble-strewn "red zone'' of the settlement and saw for himself the devastation.

Later, His Royal Highness laid a bouquet of local flowers in memory of those killed.

During his time in Amatrice, The Prince met sisters Maria Paola and Massimiliana Fioravanti who are living in new accommodation built for families who lost their homes.

The Duchess of Cornwall, meanwhile, visited St Mark’s Church in Florence and paid tribute to the memory of her great-grandmother, Alice Keppel.

Her Royal Highness laid a posy of flowers at the church in front of two brass plaques to commemorate the death of Alice Keppel in 1947.

The Duchess’s great-grandmother spent the last two years of her life in the famous Italian city and is buried nearby.

Before departing the church, The Duchess took part in a short Service of Remembrance for those who fought and died in the First and Second World Wars and met senior figures within the Church of England community at a reception.

During Her Royal Highness’s day in Florence, The Duchess privately met victims of human trafficking at the Progetto Arcobaleno Association, a small charity which works with underprivileged people in Florence, including the homeless, unemployed, drugs and substance abusers and those involved in prostitution.

The Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Progetto Arcobaleno Association
The Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Progetto Arcobaleno Association

Some of the people who are housed by the charity are deeply vulnerable young women who found themselves at the mercy of people traffickers as they attempted to flee to a better life in Italy.

The Duchess described how the work of the Association has helped these women get back on their feet.

Her Royal Highness said: “They say they wouldn't have a life if it wasn't for here. They are taught Italian, they are given training, and quite a lot of them have got jobs, although they obviously have to live in quite secret places. It's very moving."