The British Royal Tour of Zagreb – Prince Charles and Camilla visit Croatia

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall have visited Zagreb today as part of their, as they call it, Balkan tour, during which the successor to the British throne and his wife will stay in Zagreb for two days. This is prince Charles’ fifth visit to Croatia, last one being in 1995.

After landing at Pleso airport the Royal couple, followed by heavy security and a big entourage, went to meet with Croatian president Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic at the presidential residency in Pantovcak, where they talked a bit about the position and prospects of Croatia in the EU and ways in which the country has changed since Prince of Wales’ last visits. The Prince also talked about his first visit to Croatia forty years ago, when he visited Brijuni islands and Dubrovnik.

From Pantovcak the couple went on tour around Zagreb, specifically the Old Town. The tour started at Zagreb’s Funicular, the shortest public transport in the world that connects the center of the city with its old town. After the one minute trip, the couple met with Zagreb’s mayor Milan Bandic and a crowd of tourists and citizens who wanted to shake the Prince’s hand. Due to the crowds, the mayor had to fast track the tour from Lotroscak tower, pass the Catherine square and St. Mark’s church straight for Banski dvori (Viceroy’s court), the residence of Croatian government.

There they met with prime minister Tihomir Oreskovic, and mostly discussed about bettering relationships between the two countries. As The Prince mustn’t act politically, the conversation was focused on humanitarian and cultural themes and the history of Banski dvori.

Next stop for The Prince and The Duchess in Zagreb was the Croatian National Theater. Their Royal Highnesses’s visit to the theater formed part of a cultural programme for school children marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

The Prince and The Duchess watched an opera recital at the Croatian National Theater, before meeting with the production team back stage. The Royal visitors also met children, teachers and parents from SOS Children’s Village Croatia, an organization that works on preventing family breakdowns and care for children who have lost parental care or risk losing it.

The first day of visit ended with a dinner party hosted by president Kitarovic and prime minister Oreskovic and attended by prominent political, religious and business figures, where Prince Charles held a small toast to his hosts.

The Royal couple is bound for east parts of Croatia tomorrow, first stop being Osijek, the birth place of Prince’s great grandfather. There he will visit the Osijek con-cathedral while the Duchess will visit Đakovo where a Lipizzan horse breed show will be held for her (Lipizzans are horses bred in these parts for Hapsburg nobility in 16th century).

The tour will end in Zagreb, where Prince Charles will open the Inclusive design exhibition in the Museum of Crafts and Arts, before heading to Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo.