Charles, Camilla to visit Saudi Shura Council
March 3, 2013
Manama: Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council members will meet Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla when the royal couple visit their building on a regional tour in March.
The meeting will be the first public international engagement for the women Shura Council members since they were appointed to the Shura Council in a breakthrough decision by King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz in January.
The appointment has empowered women to hold 30 of the 150 seats in the Riyadh-based advisory council.
“The British Government has asked the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to undertake an official visit to Saudi Arabia in March 2013,” Charles’ Clarence House residence said.
“The visit will be part of Their Royal Highnesses’ nine-day tour between March 11-19, which will also include Jordan, Qatar and Oman, and will involve engagements in Riyadh and Jeddah,” palace officials said.
The visit to Saudi Arabia will help to strengthen the United Kingdom’s bilateral relations with a key partner in the region, relations which are underpinned by the close personal friendship that exists between Their Royal Highnesses and the Saudi Royal Family, the statement said.
“The themes of the visit include military links between the Saudi and UK Armed Forces, opportunities for women in Saudi society, education, faith, and commercial partnerships. While in Riyadh, Their Royal Highnesses will meet members of the Saudi parliament, known as Majlis Shura, including the institution’s recently appointed first women members.”
The programme in Jeddah will include a visit to the headquarters of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Palace officials said that the Prince of Wales made eight official visits to Saudi Arabia in 1986, 1990, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2004 and 2006.
Prince Charles was accompanied by Camilla during the 2006 visit, they said.