AMMAN, Jordan — Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrived in Jordan on Tuesday as part of the first royal tour since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Charles and his wife were greeted on the tarmac by a Jordanian color guard. They were slated to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Queen Rania at the royal palace in Amman, and later visit religious and historical sites during their three-day trip to the kingdom before heading to Egypt on Thursday.
A stop will be at Al-Maghtas, or Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the site where the faithful believe Jesus Christ was baptized.
They will also visit the Greco-Roman archaeological site of Um Qais, north of Amman, as well as the Jordan Museum and the Royal Scientific Society.
The British Embassy said last month that the visit was aimed at shoring up “strong bilateral relations” on the centenary of relations between Amman and London.
Jordan is a close British ally but the king has recently come under pressure over leaks pointing to offshore wealth, as well as an alleged coup plot against him earlier this year.
The royal visit will be putting particular emphasis on combating climate change in the wake of the Glasgow conference, and interfaith tolerance.
“The tour will focus on the climate crisis and will explore how leaders can implement commitments following COP26,” the royal couple’s Twitter account said last month.
During his visit, Prince Charles is also expected to meet representatives of humanitarian organizations that he supports, including the UN refugee agency.
Jordan hosts some 650,000 Syrian refugees who are registered with the UN, but Amman estimates that more than a million Syrians live in the country.
The prince’s visit comes amid concerns about the health of Queen Elizabeth II, who missed the annual Remembrance service at the Cenotaph in London on Sunday “having sprained her back.”
On Thursday, Charles will head to Egypt, which is expected to host the next round of the UN climate summit in the resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh next year.
A reception will be held for the prince and duchess at the Great Pyramids of Giza.
Their press office said Prince Charles would also participate in an interfaith discussion.