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Prince Charles and Camilla Make History as They Become the First British Royals to Visit Cuba

Bettina Dizon
Apr 09, 2019
10:48 A.M.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall mark a new era for the U.K., as they set foot in Cuba. The communist country has recently opened up economically and socially, thus possibly forming ties with the U.K.

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Prince Charles and Camilla became the first British royals to visit Cuba, last Sunday. The trip is part of the four-day royal tour in the Caribbean island, which has potential alliance forming interests.

At the top of the royal itinerary was a wreath-laying ceremony at the Jose Marti Monument. Charles paid his respects to Cuba’s revolutionary hero and symbol of independence against Spain in the nineteenth century. He laid a wreath at the monument of Cuba’s national hero who lead a cavalry charge at the battle of Dos Rios in 1895.

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Marti was a poet, an essayist, a revolutionary thinker, and a political theorist. He was a national figure who many looked up to, hence, having a memorial dedicated to him.

After the ceremony, the royal couple toured the Jose Marti Museum inside the monument, which is said to be the biggest in the world. During the tour, curator Eva Maria Diaz enlightened the couple on Marti’s life and how Havana was back then, which led to an interesting exchange between Diaz and the prince.

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Charles revealed that Britain briefly occupied Cuba in the eighteenth century, which of course, the curator already had knowledge of. Charles told her,

“I’ve learnt a great deal about Jose Marti.”

He also mentioned that he wanted to stay longer in Cuba, but said,

“You might get fed up with us very quickly,”

In a joking manner.

“I am sorry to have dragged you in on a Sunday. I hope it is not inconvenient for you,”

He added.

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According to history, the U.K. and Cuba were not alliances, especially during the Cold War. However, given that was many moons ago, their new relations may give rise to diplomatic ties, especially at a time where the Trump administration has revoked international relations policies, and Brexit opens opportunities for the British government to widen trade and other links.

The royal trip is an avenue for the two countries to open opportunities while making amends. BCC’s Nicholas Witchell said that the British,

“Clearly feel it’s time to send a message of encouragement to the Cuban government to move further along the road to economic and political reform.”

In line with this, Lord Ahmad, minister of state in the Foreign Office, is flying to Cuba to represent the British government. He will be staying longer than the royal couple to seek further opportunities and negotiations with the country.

The following days include a trip at the Palacio de la Revolution, where they met President Miguel Diaz-Canel. Charles and Camilla previously met Mr. Diaz-Canel at Clarence House last November. After, they will be attending several events such as meetings with entrepreneurs, organic farming, and community projects.

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All the events are part of the couple’s 12-day trip in the Caribbean, where the couple met different people and attended different ceremonies. In all their schedules, Camilla was dressed for the occasion, including a Sunday church service where she wore a flowy dress and matched it with a designer handbag. The couple also had a short vacation to the beach during heir stay.

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