Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Prince Charles and Camilla arrive in Rwanda for Royal Tour - Day 1

The couple were greeted by a small group of dignitaries

prince charles rwanda
Emily Nash
Emily NashRoyal EditorLondon
Share this:

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have begun the first-ever royal visit to Rwanda where they will also attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

MORE: Prince Charles shares adorable baby photo on Prince William's 40th birthday

Prince Charles, 73, and Camilla, 74, touched down in the capital Kigali on the RAF Voyager and were greeted on the tarmac by British High Commissioner Omar Daair and Rwanda’s High Commissioner to the UK Johnston Busingye.

WATCH: Prince Charles and Camilla arrive in Rwanda for Commonwealth meeting

They are the first members of the Queen's family to visit Rwanda, one of the few countries not visited by the monarch during her 70-year reign.

READ: Prince Charles and Camilla share unseen wedding photo

SEE: The story behind the personalised gold bracelet Duchess Camilla gave Kate Middleton

The royal couple will attend CHOGM on behalf of the Queen, who is head of the Commonwealth and it is the first one they have attended since Charles was chosen as the organisation's next leader at the last gathering in London in 2018.

prince charles and camilla plane© Photo: Getty Images

This is the royal family's first visit to Rwanda

The summit had been due to take place in Rwanda in June 2020, but was twice postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As well as attending the meeting of world leaders, the future King and Queen Consort will meet President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeanette Kagame and learn about how Rwanda has recovered from the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, in which up to 800,000 people were killed in a period of just 100 days.

Clarence House said the Prince and Duchess would have "an opportunity to reflect on the strength and resilience of the Rwandan people, as well as their commitment to reconciliation and optimism following the Genocide."

Charles will visit a wildlife sanctuary, hear about how local farmers have regenerated their land to boosted their incomes and announce a new partnership to create a "Living Lab" to restore land, linked to similar schemes he is supporting across the world.

camilla rwanda© Photo: Rex

Upon their arrival, the couple were greeted by a small group of dignitaries

He will also meet students and beneficiaries of his Prince's Trust International. Meanwhile Camilla will visit a public library with Mrs Kagame to highlight the work of Book Aid International, of which she became patron earlier this year, taking on the role from the late Duke of Edinburgh. They will also meet winners of the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition.

The royal couple will end their trip by hosting a dinner on behalf of the Queen for the Commonwealth Heads of Government after attending the Opening Ceremony and other meetings earlier in the day.

Speaking ahead of their visit, Prince Charles said: "My wife and I much look forward to meeting Commonwealth leaders and, for the first time, being able to visit Rwanda. Over the years, I have learned a great deal from the ideas, concerns and aspirations which people across the Commonwealth have so generously shared.

"I have been struck, time and again, by how many common threads there are between us. Too many members of the Commonwealth are amongst the world's most climate vulnerable countries. As two out of three Commonwealth citizens are under the age of 30, there is a pressing need to find opportunities for our young people.

"Taking shared responsibility to solve problems like these means the Commonwealth has the potential to make a profound difference in the lives of its citizens – and in so doing, to be an unparalleled force for good in our world."

More Royalty

See more