Visiting British Royal Prince Charles has hailed the traditional close ties between the UK and Greece and highlighted Greece’s role in the world by saying “We are all Greeks”.
Speaking at a banquet in the presidential palace of Athens on Wednesday night, Charles quoted the great English Poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley and said:
“We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their root in Greece.”
On the first day of his visit on Wednesday, Prince Charles accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall were guests of Greece’s president Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
The royal couple were flanked by women in traditional Greek dress as they posed for photos with president Prokopios Pavlopoulos and his wife Vlassia on the steps of a reception room at the presidential mansion.
Prince Charles tackled his father The Duke of Edinburgh’s – native tongue and was greeted with rapturous applause for his efforts.
In Greek, which he has been practicing ahead of the trip to Athens and Crete, Charles said, “We want to thank you for your warm welcome and heartfelt hospitality.”
He also spoke about the bond that tie Britain and Greece.
“Our countries lie at opposite ends of the continent that we share. Our languages resemble each other only a little; our climates, I need hardly say, even less so! Yet there is, and has long been, an essential bond between us and between our people.
“In Britain, as across the Western World, the profound influence of Greece has, since ancient times, shaped the way we think, the way we build, the way we learn and the way we govern.
Time and again the “tides of history” have brought us together he said. He said both countries stand for, “freedom, democracy and tolerance.”
“In the Second World War, Greece bravely endured such terrible suffering and privation, as so many of your own parents and grandparents will have known at first-hand.
“My own Grandmother, Princess Alice, remained in Athens during those dark years and did whatever she could to help some of those most in need.”
Video with Greek voice over