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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to visit Mexico and Colombia

Published on 3rd October 2014

Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will make a nine day visit to Colombia and Mexico from 28th October - 5th November. Their Royal Highnesses' visit to both countries is at the request of the British Government, following invitations from President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón of Colombia and President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico. The visit will be a major boost to the bilateral relationship between the UK and these two dynamic and influential nations in Latin America.

The Prince and The Duchess are looking forward to seeing the richly varied and beautiful environment of both countries and meeting the warm and welcoming people. Their Royal Highnesses will undertake a broad range of engagements to promote the UK's partnership with both Colombia and Mexico in key areas such as combatting climate change, improving trade and investment, creating youth opportunities, encouraging corporate social responsibility, preserving historical and cultural links and supporting victims of sexual and domestic violence.

The Prince and The Duchess will travel to Colombia first, arriving in Bogota on Tuesday 28th October. The following day, Their Royal Highnesses will be received by President Santos and the First Lady at an official welcome ceremony at Casa de Nariño, the Presidential Palace in Bogota. President Santos and the First Lady will also host an Official Banquet in honour of The Prince and The Duchess. Other engagements in Bogota will focus on traditional arts and crafts, historical architecture, organic food and wool, trade and investment and a celebration of the British Council's 75th anniversary in Colombia. 

Central to Their Royal Highnesses' busy programme in Bogota will be a Peace and Reconciliation ceremony to remember the victims of Colombia’s armed conflict. The event, which will take place at the specially constructed Centre for Peace, Memory and Reconciliation, will be an opportunity for Their Royal Highnesses to show the UK's support for the Colombian peace process and to meet representatives of communities that are most affected by the conflict. Later that day, The Duchess of Cornwall will attend a high-level meeting for charities and Government representatives working on various initiatives in the field of preventing sexual violence in conflict.

In order to highlight the Colombian Government’s commitment to environmental protection and the Amazon 2020 vision, The Prince will visit the Macarena National Park in southern Colombia. Their Royal Highnesses will end their five-day visit to Colombia in Cartagena where The Prince of Wales will deliver the concluding speech at the 'Health of the Oceans’ international conference. The conference, which has been organised by The Presidential Cooperation Agency and The Prince's International Sustainability Unit, will be attended by one hundred participants from Colombian Government agencies, charities and senior expert representatives from many other Caribbean countries. The conference will promote sustainability in the development of marine economies.

Their Royal Highnesses' other engagements in Cartagena will celebrate the cultural diversity and arts traditions in Colombia. Their Royal Highnesses will end their visit to Colombia at a sunset ceremony on board HMS Argyll, which will be moored in Cartagena. The Prince, whose last visit to Colombia was in 1974 as a Naval officer on HMS Minerva, will take part in this ceremony as the Admiral of the Fleet.

On Sunday 2nd November, Their Royal Highnesses will begin their visit to Mexico in the town of Real del Monte. The town is considered the birthplace of the historical relationship between the UK and Mexico, which began with Cornish miners who first arrived in Real del Monte from Falmouth in 1825, to help resuscitate the Mexican silver mining industry. In addition to industrial mining technologies, the miners brought with them the Cornish pasty and football. Real del Monte still has a thriving relationship with Redruth in Cornwall with which it is twinned. Sunday 2nd November is also the Day of the Dead, a Mexican Public Holiday when Mexicans gather to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and visit their graves. Their Royal Highnesses will mark the day by visiting the Cornish cemetery in Real del Monte, which contains the only known British WW1 memorial in Mexico to a Cornish immigrant who died at the Battle of the Somme. The Prince, who is also The Duke of Cornwall, and The Duchess, will lay a wreath at the memorial. 

Their Royal Highnesses will also visit Mexico City, Campeche and Monterrey. In Mexico City Their Royal Highnesses will receive an official welcome by the President and First Lady at the Presidential Palace. Other events will include a reception at the historical Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso to announce the Year of the UK in Mexico and the Year of Mexico in the UK in 2015 a programme designed to promote collaboration in the fields of education, science and innovation, culture, and business.

In Campeche, Their Royal Highnesses will visit the Edzna Maya archaeological site, which dates back to 400BC. During their tour of the site they will learn about restoration and meet some of the workers who have helped to successfully restore the ruins. 

On the last day of their visit to Mexico, The Prince and The Duchess will visit Monterrey, the business and industrial centre of northern Mexico. In Monterrey, Their Royal Highnesses will receive an official welcome by the Governor before undertaking a programme of events that will highlight the successful regeneration of Monterrey's historical sites. The Prince will meet representatives of some of Mexico's leading businesses and government agencies to support their role in developing youth entrepreneurship and innovation. The Prince last visited Mexico in 2002.

Notes for Editors

The Prince of Wales has visited Mexico four times (1966, 1970, 1993, 2002) and Colombia once (in 1974 as a Naval Officer).

The Duchess of Cornwall has visited Mexico privately. This is her first visit to Colombia.