Charles and Camilla: Why are royals allowed to travel to Greece and the rest of us banned?

Susanna Reid questions timing of Prince Charles’ Greece visit

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The couple arrived at Athens International airport on Wednesday afternoon for a two-day visit. At a dinner hosted by the Greek President, Prince Charles said he and Camilla “could not be more delighted to be back in Greece, which has long held the most special place in my heart”.

So why are they allowed to travel?

Official government lockdown rules state that it is “illegal to travel abroad for holidays”.

You are only permitted to travel if you have a “legally permitted reason”, such as for work.

While Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall were invited by prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to join them in the 200-anniversary celebrations, this is an official working trip for the royals.

The couple have diplomatic immunity as they are going on behalf of the British Government, which is why they’re allowed to make the trip.

Whether the couple will be expected to isolate upon their return to the UK is unclear.

If they do, however, it is likely to be at home, not at one of the government-approved quarantine hotels for international arrivals.

Prince Charles spoke fondly of the nation his father was born in at the dinner on Wednesday night.

He said: ” Greece is the land of my grandfather; and of my father’s birth, nearly one hundred years ago, in the centenary year of Greek Independence.

“Later, it was in Athens that my dear grandmother, Princess Alice, during the dark years of Nazi occupation, sheltered a Jewish family – an act for which in Israel she is counted as ‘Righteous Among The Nations’.”

He went on: “In feeling a profound connection to Greece – her landscapes, her history and her culture – I am hardly alone: there is something of her essence in us all.

“As the wellspring of Western civilization, Greece’s spirit runs through our societies and our democracies.

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“Without her, our laws, our art, our way of life, would never have flourished as they have.”

Charles said he was “deeply touched” the nation wants to enact his ambitious Terra Carta, or Earth Charter, which has parallels with the Magna Carta.

The charter aims to encourage the private sector to adopt sustainable practices and to invest 10 billion dollars (£7.3 billion) in “natural capital” by 2022.

The Prince of Wales said: “As we all work to rebuild our societies and our economies from this year of previously unimaginable upheaval and to set our world on a more sustainable path, perhaps we can take some inspiration from the courage, determination and ambition of 1821.

“Once again, the stakes could hardly be higher. The choices we make will determine the fate not only of our nations, but of this singular planet which we all share.

“For my part, to support this vital endeavour, I have worked with hundreds of CEOs around the world to develop a road map that places people, planet and nature at the heart of our economic transition.

“I have called this plan the ‘Terra Carta’, and I am deeply touched that Athens wishes to enact the ideas it offers.”

He concluded by saying: “Your Excellency – today, as in 1821, Greece can count on her friends in the United Kingdom.

“The ties between us are strong and vital, and make a profound difference to our shared prosperity and security.

“Just as our histories are closely bound together, so too are our futures.”

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