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Charles and Camilla visit land of the pharaohs

March 20, 2006
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Britain's future king got to know the legacy of a rather more exotic royal dynasty when he and his wife Camilla took a step back in time by inspecting some of the treasures of ancient Egypt. The couple, who have just begun a tour of the north African country, were happy to immerse themselves in its rich history. Camilla, who was sporting a black and white dotted gown with oversize lapels, chatted animatedly with her husband as they perused the many artefacts on display inside the national museum.

The Duchess swapped her dress for a floaty kaftan-style outfit and covered her head with a scarf when they dropped by the Al-Azhar mosque, however. Charles, who wore black prayer slippers, was presented with an honorary degree by the institution, which is also the world's oldest surviving university.

Cairo's rich cultural life is only one of the factors that attract large numbers of tourists to the Middle Eastern country every year, though. A short trip into the desert brings visitors face-to-face with the legendary pyramids of Giza, which have been provoking awe and wonder for over 4,500 years.

And the equally magnificent Sphinx, a huge statue featuring the head of a man and the body of the lion, is likewise found nearby. While opinions may vary as to how the enormous structure lost its nose, all those who get the chance to see it agree it's nothing short of breath-taking.

Many visitors choose to take a cruise down the Nile so they can see the Valley of Kings, near Luxor, too. It is here that the tomb of Tutankhamun is found, along with the burial sites of numerous other great rulers. Further south, near the town of Aswan, intrepid holidaymakers can marvel at the hieroglyphs that adorn the walls of the Abu Simbel temples.

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Photo: Rex
Prince Charles and the Duchess seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the sights and sounds of Cairo
Photo: AFP
A barefoot Camilla donned a loose kaftan-style garment and a headscarf when they visited the famous Al-Azhar mosque

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