BOGOTA: Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were welcomed to Colombia with military honors Wednesday, at a ceremony led by the president to mark the couple’s first royal visit to the South American nation.
President Juan Manuel Santos welcomed Britain’s heir to the throne and the Duchess of Cornwall at his private residence one day after the royal couple arrived in Bogota, kicking off a nine-day tour of Colombia and Mexico.
The ceremony was also attended by First Lady Maria Clemencia Rodriguez and several other high-ranking officials, including Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin.
Charles met with Santos behind closed doors Wednesday and was expected to attend a celebration marking the 75th anniversary of the British Council in Bogota later in the day.
Santos will host an official banquet at his lavish Narino palace in the evening.
The royal couple will attend a “ceremony for peace and reconciliation” on Thursday to commemorate the victims of more than 50 years of fighting in Colombia that has killed at least 220,000 and displaced five million people.
They will also tour a national park and visit the northern city of Cartagena during their visit.
The couple leave for Mexico on Sunday for the final leg of the Latin American tour.
The visit was at the request of the British government, following invitations from the presidents of both countries.
Charles, 65, visited Colombia in 1974 as a naval officer, while he has visited Mexico four times since 1966.