The King is on his first trip outside the U.K. since being crowned on May 6
On Friday, the King stepped out in Bucharest, Romania for a private visit to the country. King Charles' solo trip to the Eastern European country marks his first trip outside the U.K. since he was crowned on May 6 beside Queen Camilla.
The 74-year-old monarch was welcomed to Cotroceni Palace by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, where he was greeted by a military Guard of Honor. King Charles and Iohannis then moved to a bilateral meeting, before the president hosted a reception in the monarch's honor in Union Hall at the presidential palace. Charles reflected on his admiration for Romania in a brief speech.
“I can scarcely believe that 25 years have gone by since my first visit to this most remarkable country, although even before I came here, I felt a deep connection to Romania. Your own much-loved Queen Marie was, as you well know, the first cousin of my great-grandfather King George V, while Queen Mary, my great-grandmother — whom I remember well — was descended from Countess Claudia Rhedey with links that go back deep into Romania’s history, and of course, my father [Prince Philip] was a first cousin of King Mihai and cherished memories of their playing together as children here,” he said. “So, if I may say so, I have always felt rather at home in Romania!”
Elsewhere in the address, the King praised the “innovation, energy and resilience” of the Romanian people and their dedication to others.
Sharing more about his connections to local organizations, King Charles noted that seeing the important work of FARA, a charity supporting vulnerable young people in families, moved him to become its royal patron in 2002 and added that Associata Monumentum, which trains craftspeople and architects, has been backed by The Prince's Foundation.
“As I have said before, I have come to love Romania — your culture and art, your heritage and history, your sweeping landscapes and priceless biodiversity,” he said.
“But most of all, I cherish my Romanian friends here. I am enormously grateful to many people in this audience for their kind help on so many occasions, and for their support for projects which are doing so much good in communities throughout the country,” he added, pointing to the bond Romania and Great Britain share through tourism and friendship.
“Our bonds of friendship are as strong today as they have ever been in our long histories, and I look forward to seeing them playing my part in seeing them strengthen even further in the future,” King Charles concluded.
The formal kickoff to King Charles’ trip comes before Prince Harry is expected to take the witness stand in London to testify against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) over alleged unlawful information gathering next week. MGN is the publisher of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, Daily Express and more, and the Duke of Sussex alleges that his phone voicemails were hacked. The powerhouse publisher argues that the claims were brought too late, according to the Associated Press. Prince Harry launched the claim in 2019.
According to Reuters, when Prince Harry takes the stand, he will become the first prominent member of the British royal family to give evidence in court in 130 years. The last royal to do so was King Edward VII, who testified as a witness in a divorce case in 1870 and again in a slander trial over a card game in 1890 before becoming monarch, Reuters said.
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Prince Harry was last in London a few weeks ago for the coronation of his father and Queen Camilla. He traveled solo from his California home for the historic service, while Meghan Markle stayed back with their young children — Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet — on their son’s 4th birthday.
In March, Prince Harry also traveled solo to London, attending the High Court for the legal case in which he and other prominent figures including Elton John, Elizabeth Hurley and Jude Law's ex-wife Sadie Frost sued Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL), publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, for illegal information gathering.
Although King Charles will be out of the country, Prince William will be back in the U.K. after attending Crown Prince Hussein's royal wedding in Jordan on Thursday with Kate Middleton. The Prince of Wales is scheduled to attend Saturday's FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium in London.
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