The King of the United Kingdom, Charles, whose coronation takes place today, May 6, is a staunch Philhellene and has visited Greece several times. On one of his trips with Queen Consort Camilla, as she is now known, they paid a visit to the ancient site of Knossos on Crete.
King Charles’ Visit to Crete
The couple were at the site for approximately fifty minutes, during which they were given a guided tour and presented with gifts. Despite the extremely tight security measures, the site remained open to the public, who were able to watch the royal couple.
The palace of Knossos which is located on Crete, was built at the beginning of the Middle Minoan period (2000-1580 BC) and became the ceremonial and political center of the Minoan civilization and culture.
Before departing for the UK, the couple attended an engagement ceremony and celebrated local produce, culture, and heritage. Charles and Camilla walked around a Cretan village and met locals presenting local initiatives and selling Cretan produce and crafts.
King Charles Attends Greek War of Independence Celebrations
King Charles’ most recent visit was in March 2021 when he attended celebrations for the bicentenary of the Greek War of Independence.
He added that “today, as in 1821, Greece can count on her friends in the United Kingdom. The ties between us are strong and vital, and make a profound difference to our shared prosperity and security.”
“In feeling a profound connection to Greece—her landscapes, her history and her culture—I am hardly alone: there is something of her essence in us all,” he said. “As the wellspring of Western civilization, Greece’s spirit runs through our societies and our democracies. Without her, our laws, our art, our way of life, would never have flourished as they have.”
Charles: We are all Greeks
On a previous trip to Greece in 2018, Charles hailed the traditionally close ties between the UK and Greece and highlighted Greece’s role in the world by saying: “We are all Greeks.”
“We are all Greeks,” he said. “Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their root in Greece.”
Meeting the head of Greece’s Orthodox Church, Archbishop Ieronymos, Charles recalled that he has visited Mount Athos and its monasteries several times. “And having done this, I have gained a special appreciation for the traditions of the Orthodox Church,” he said.
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