The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visit Greece
Published 25 March 2021
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall today arrived in Athens, Greece, at request of HM Government, to attend the country's Bicentenary Independence Day celebrations.
Accompanied by the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his wife Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotaki this evening, Their Royal Highnesses attended the official opening ceremony of the National Gallery. The Gallery was founded as a legal entity in 1900, which originally housed a collection of works of art bequeathed to the State by Alexandros Soutzos, a wealthy 19th century Greek jurist. Since 2015, the Gallery has been under extended reconstruction and renovation works, which were completed at the start of this year.
The Prince and The Duchess were given a tour of the National Gallery by the Director of the National Gallery, Professor Marina Lambraki-Plaka and viewed paintings by British artists Thomas Gordon and Frank Abney Hastings.
Later, Their Royal Highnesses attended an official state dinner at the Presidential Mansion. During the reception, there was be a short musical performance by Greek Violinist, Mr. Leonidas Kavakos. In a speech to assembled guests, The Prince of Wales said:
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. 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.
Today, Their Royal Highnesses joined representatives from Greece, Cyprus, France and Russia at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier for a wreath laying ceremony. The Prince of Wales himself lay a wreath in memory of all Greek soldiers who have died in conflict.
In celebration of Greece's Bicentenary Independence Day, Their Royal Highness then observed a military parade which was concluded by a flypast.
This afternoon, The Prince and The Duchess visited the Presidential Guard Barracks, where they were greeted by The Commander of the Presidential Guard. Their Royal Highnesses inspected the first rank of the Guard and later viewed a display of historical ceremonial uniforms.
Before departing the country, The Prince visited Athens City Hall for a meeting with the Mayor of Athens, Mr. Bakoyannis. Following the meeting, His Royal Highness was presented with a Gold Medal of Honour, the City's highest distinction.