Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have begun the first leg of their Middle East tour in Jordan. The country's monarch King Abdullah II and his wife Rania rolled out the red carpet for the British royals as they arrived at the Royal Palace, rested after their 2258-mile journey the previous day.No detail was spared by King Abdullah, who had assembled a full military parade and rolled out the red carpet for his fellow royals.
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His elegant wife Rania had also pulled out all the stops in a bold block colour dress. She greeted Camilla warmly, planting a kiss on her check as their husbands shook hands. The Duchess folded into a delicate curtsey before Rania, who takes precedence as Queen. Guided by their hosts, Charles and Camilla were shown around the King Hussein Mosque in Amman. The Prince looked on in wonder as he took in the architecture of the famous building.
The mosque, one of the finest in the Middle East, was commissioned by King Abdullah II, in memory of his father, the late King Hussein. The royals also gathered to discuss The Amman Message, a statement issued in 2004 calling for tolerance in the Muslim world. After leaving Jordan, Charles and Camilla's nine day tour will see them take in the sights of Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
In Qatar, they will meet with the Qatari royal family and celebrate events held to mark the fact that 2013 is 'UK-Qatar Year of Culture'. In Oman, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, a longtime friend of the British royals, and the Queen in particular, will greet the pair. When the Queen last visited Oman in 2010, the Sultan rearranged his Jubilee celebrations, originally planned for July, so they took place during Her Majesty's visit. Such is the regard for the Queen in Oman that Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said laid on three days of extravagant events for her and Prince Philip, a reception which may be echoed for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.