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TRH in Mexico: Day Eight

4th November 2014

The Prince of Wales joins traditional Sarao dancers during a visit to the Central Plaza in Campeche, Mexico.

The Prince of Wales joins traditional Sarao dancers during a visit to the Central Plaza in Campeche, Mexico.

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The Prince of Wales has proved once again when it comes to dancing, no one in the Royal Family does it better.

His Royal Highness did not have to be asked twice to join in with a group of performers when he visited the picturesque coastal Mexican town of Campeche.

Twirling a handkerchief above his head and copying the men and women around him he deftly moved his feet to the dance called Sarao Campechano.

His Royal Highness earned the praise of dancer Carlos Javier Zamorano, 20, who joined in to help The Prince along. He said: "Even though he doesn't know the steps his dancing was really good - he tried, that's the most important thing.

"For me I'm surprised he did it. If he had more time to practice he would be be very good."

The Prince of Wales gave his master class in dancing when he visited Campeche's main town square to tour a number of craft stalls and meet local dignitaries.

The crowds that had come out to see His Royal Highness were entertained by the troop of performers dressed in traditional costumes. And when The Prince arrived he quickly joined their number, taking the stance of the men with his left arm behind his back and waving the piece of cloth above his head with the other hand.

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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall spend a third day in Mexico.

The Prince of Wales visits the Centro de Justicia para Mujeres (Women's Justice Centre) in Campeche, Mexico

The Prince of Wales visits the Centro de Justicia para Mujeres (Women's Justice Centre) in Campeche, Mexico

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Earlier that day he compared himself to one of Mexico's ancient monuments as he posed for a picture, joking "one old ruin in front of another".

He quipped about the weathered state of both himself and the centuries-old Edzna Maya archaeological site as he toured the huge city complex in a jungle clearing.

But missing was The Duchess of Cornwall, who sadly had to cancel all her engagements on the penultimate day of the couple's Mexican tour because of a sinus problem.

Edzna is believed to have been inhabited by the Maya people from around 400BC to the 15th century when some unknown calamity or crucial environmental problem saw it abandoned.

The sophisticated settlement near Campeche has features of a modern city such as an expert drainage system and rainwater collection scheme.

Alfredo Euan Xool, a Mexican of Maya descent, met The Prince of Wales at the site's enormous plaza and in the shadow of the main building the Great Acropolis, which has five storeys and a row of steep steps leading to the top.

He said: "People of high status lived here, maybe two to three thousand, and the rest of society lived in the surrounding area. "We don't know why they abandoned it, there are theories, maybe there was a drought or maybe the harvest failed for some other reason.''

During the day The Prince stepped into his wife's shoes to visit a Women's Justice Centre in Campeche, south-west of Mexico City, which provides a refuge for women suffering domestic abuse. He met Irma and her three young children Omar, David and Jessica, who had recently escaped from a violent partner in America.

Speaking through an interpreter, she told The Prince her story, saying:
"I've just arrived, I was suffering domestic violence, everybody here has been supporting me.

"I'm trying to send my children to school which is a problem for me because I fled from home and don't have any identity papers."

When The Prince asked if the centre had helped, she replied: "Yes. It's been helpful, a lot, when I first escaped I was very afraid, now that's been turned around. As a battered woman I lost everything." And The Prince finished her sentence, suggesting: "But regained your self-esteem?'' and she replied "Yes".

He also met Maria, who is also rebuilding her life and her son Angelo Esteban and daughter Cielo de Guadalupe. The woman's son gave His Royal Highness a present meant for The Duchess - a portrait of her made out of coloured card. He told the young boy he would make sure she got it, adding: "She was so sorry not to have been here to see you.''

Before leaving, The Prince of Wales  posed for a photo with a group of schoolchildren at centre. They wore traditional colourful costumes and had performed a local dance piece earlier in the day.

A speech by HRH The Prince of Wales at the Energy and Climate Change Meeting in Campeche, Mexico

Published on 4th November 2014

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am most thankful to the Governor for his extremely kind words and unbelievably warm hospitality. I'm only sorry my wife could not come and she sends her apologies. I must also apologise for keeping you waiting. I was drawn into giving a rather bad example of local dancing! Its just as well you didn't see it!

I am particularly glad to be able to join you today for this important meeting on Mexico's energy future within the context of global climate change.

For a long time, Mexicohas played an important leadership role in the global effort to broker a serious, binding, and ambitious climate deal.  The Cancún climate summit in 2010 not so far from here provided a welcome boost to the international negotiations post-Copenhagen, and was in its success a worthy testament to the skills of Mexican multilateralism and your Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Recently, I was heartened by President Peña Nieto's remarks at the U.N. Climate Leaders Summit in New York and his reaffirmation of Mexico’s strong commitments.  Equally, the recent New Climate Economy Report, which benefitted from the wise guidance of former President Calderón, is also a landmark on the road to COP21 in Parisin December 2015, and one which bears the welcome stamp of Mexico’s diplomatic pragmatism.  Mexico has long been considered a key player in brokering a strong multilateral deal in Paris, and in this regard as in so many others remains a vital partner to the U.K.          &n ...

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