March Royal Tours Part 1: Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla

March Royal Tours Part 1: Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visited the United States of America this past week, from March 17-March 20. They first stopped in Washington, D.C. for three days before moving on to Lexington, Kentucky. The two of them visited memorials and former President’s homes, and met with current President Barrack Obama; Charles gave three speeches, and Camilla continued her support of women, literacy, and animals. This post will sort of work how Prince William’s Japan/China tour post worked, in that there are lots of photos from the various events, though I will add more comments about Charles and Camilla’s goings-on (it’s a long post, but that’s due to the number of pictures).

PS. Part 2 of the March Royal Tours coverage focuses on the Dutch visit to Denmark. That post will happen later in the day. Then there will be the weekly Round Up post on Sunday covering some of the other royal ladies who were out and about this week.

To start things off, Charles and Camilla arrived at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. on March 17, before heading to the British Embassy for a reception.

The next day, March 18, Charles and Camilla visited the Martin Luther King Memorial. They were joined by (L-R) Harry Johnson (President and CEO of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.), Guy Vickers (President of the Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation), Reverend Jesse Jackson, Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Ed Jackson, Jr. (Executive Architect at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial).

Charles and Camilla then visited the Lincoln Memorial.

Charles and Camilla then visited Mount Vernon, President George Washington‘s former home. They were shown around by (L-R) Curt Viebranz (President of Mt. Vernon), Barbara Lucas (Regent, Mt. Vernon Ladie’s Association), Carol Cadou (Senior Vice President for Historic Preservation and Collection), and Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA).

While at Mount Vernon, Charles and Camilla laid a wreath on George Washington’s tomb.

After Mount Vernon, Charles and Camilla split up. Charles attended an event about reduction of plastic waste in the marine environment titled, “Plastic in the marine environment: scaling up efforts to minimise waste”, hosted by the Global Ocean Commission and the International Sustainability Unit, where he gave a speech.

Charles talked about the levels of plastic in the oceans, saying in part (full transcript here): “Having taken a keen interest in the state of the world’s natural environment for longer than I care to remember, one thing that has always struck me as being very odd has been the comparatively low level of attention that has been devoted to the condition of the oceans… As all of you will know far better than me, the world’s oceans face many threats, including overfishing, species extinction, habitat destruction and the impacts of climate change through warming and acidification… One issue that we absolutely cannot ignore is that of the increasing quantity of plastic waste in the marine environment… Faced with such a damaging and accumulating side-effect from the throw-away society, it is, I believe, utterly crucial that we do much more to speed up the transition to a more ‘circular’ economy – that is to say, one in which materials are recovered, recycled and reused instead of created, used and then thrown away.”

Charles visited the National Archives to view the 1297 Magna Carta and Charters of Freedom to mark the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta and its impact on the development of the United States Constitution. He also viewed the Declaration of Independence. During his trip to the Archives, Charles learned that Lord Louis Mountbatten had submitted a patent application in 1931 for a new kind of polo stick, and saw a telegram from 1957 with instructions for a toy car that had been given to an 8-year-old Charles.

Meanwhile, Camilla visited the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

That evening, Charles and Camilla attended a private reception hosted by Barby Albritton (pink dress), Robert Albritton, and Dr Elena Albritton (gold dress). My god, doesn’t Camilla look amazing? I love the dress, and the cape! This is the best she’s ever looked, in my opinion. She looks absolutely flawless. And not to leave him out, Charles looks very dapper in his tuxedo.

Barby Albritton is the the head of the prince’s charity in the U.S., Robert Albritton (Barby’s son) is the head of Allbritton Communications and launched the newspaper and website Politico, and Elena Albritton is a dermatologist in D.C. Barby and her late husband, Joe, attended William and Kate’s wedding in 2011.

The next day, Charles and Camilla had met President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office at the White House. Obama told Charles: “I think it’s fair to say that the American people are quite fond of the Royal Family… They like them much better than they like their own politicians.” Charles then started talking about his trip to Mount Vernon. These meetings must be so awkward with all the reporters and boom mics in their faces. Speaking of boom mics… poor Joe Biden.

Charles and Camilla toured President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers Home.

The royal couple then visited the Armed Forces Retirement home where they met retired service men and women, and Charles tried his hand at bowling. He declined to change into bowling shoes, and got three pins.

Camilla attended a reception filled with well known women leaders from around the USA at the National Museum of Women in the Arts for the US launch of WOW – Women of the World Festival – a global festival founded by London’s Southbank Centre celebrating women and girls. Sadly, Camilla did not give a speech of her own, rahter listening to a speech given by Jude Kelly (Artistic Director of London’s Southbank Centre). Camilla attended a reception for WOW back on February 16, where she did give a speech.

Charles was at an Exceptional Leadership in Conservation Reception hosted by the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) at Andrew Mellon Hall where he gave a speech.

Charles praised the conservation work of President Teddy Roosevelt and the National Park system, then saying in part (Full transcript here). “In today’s testing times I believe we need a renewal of the kind of far-sighted leadership demonstrated by President Roosevelt. We need to move beyond creating reserves set aside for Nature to a new approach that places our relationship with the natural world much closer to the day to day concerns of humanity. The health of Nature and the security of humankind are more inextricably linked than we sometimes realize, so it is essential to our wellbeing, and ultimately to our survival, that we address them together.”

Charles then received the Teddy Roosevelt International Conservation Award for his extraordinary conservation leadership.

The next day, the royal couple moved on to Louisville, KY where Camilla visited a community project called ‘Neighbourhood House’ where she got to play with kids, and read them a story.

Camilla then visited the Churchill Downs racetrack (home of the Kentucky Derby) where she got to meet horses and mini donkeys, and launched the US fundraising branch of The Brooke – an organisation dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules. Camilla has been president of Brooke since 2006.

Charles visited the Cathedral of the Assumption and delivered a speech on health and the environment.

Charles talked about what sparked his interest in environmentalism and other interests of his, then saying in part (full transcript here): “In the thirty years or so that I have been attempting to understand and address the many related problems, I have tried to ask myself what it is in our general attitude to the world that is ultimately at fault? In doing so, of course, it must have appeared as though I was just flitting from one subject to another – from agriculture to architecture, from education to healthcare – but I was merely trying to point out where the imbalance was most acute; where the essential unity of things, as reflected in Nature, was being dangerously fragmented and deconstructed. The question that should surely keep us all awake at nights is what happens if you go on deconstructing? I fear the answer is all too plain. We summon up more and more chaos.”

Here are videos from their tour:

Links: Daily Mail. Daily Mail. Daily Mail. Daily Mail.

36 thoughts on “March Royal Tours Part 1: Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla

  1. Now this is how a tour of the U.S. is done. Not that hodge podge thrown together at the last minute so someone could go to New York for the first time. Seriously, if you want to go to a city, then use one of your many vacations, your own money and do it.

    On a fashion front I noticed Camilla working the satin inserts and sashes. Kind of on the fence about them. They add a visual interest, but aren’t necessarily slimming, but I liked them. I also really liked her rocking the capes. She has definitely found her style groove.

    President Obama seemed to really enjoy his time with Prince Charles and had an actual conversation. (William you need to watch and rewatch the tape of this meeting so you know how it’s done)

    They did a lot of engagements while they were here. I wouldn’t be surprised if they just slept on the trip home on that wonderful jet. I would actually love to meet this couple. If given the choice of W&K or C&C, I’d be hanging with C&C.

    1. I know it may be the unpopular opinion judging off the general popularity polls (not necessarily on here), but I would much rather hang out with Charles and Camilla than Will and Kate. Love them or hate them, Charles and Camilla would be way more interesting to spend time with than Will and Kate.

  2. Fascinating. They went to many of the same places I did when I went to D.C. as well as Mount Vernon. Very cool. They both looked quite elegant, if showing their age. Then again, Willy and Waity look closer to 40 than early-30s.

  3. Off topic but Sebastian Shakespeare says the UK gov has just announced plans to buy a 1.7 mill helicopter for the EAAA. So, Will gets his new toy so he can pretend to play helicopters. Yee Haw.

    1. So he can play helicopters… for about six moths until he gets bored and quits. Or shall I say, stops actually going to work, but they’ll pretend he’s still going that way he can get out of doing royal duties, too.

  4. I may be placing this post in the wrong spot, but I just wanted to say that everyday, this is the first thing I pull up on my computer. KMR, I think you do an outstanding job with these posts, and I absolutely love to read all the comments. Thank you.
    While I am not sure if I would consider myself a Camilla fan, I think she looked fabulous this entire tour. And I also think Prince Charles is always impeccably dressed and elegant.
    Again, I want to say how much I enjoy this blog. Can’t wait to read the next installment!

    1. Thank you so much, Itspenny! That’s very nice of you. I’m glad you enjoy the blog.

  5. In my opinion, Camilla should stick to clothes with structure. As for the White House visit, it is good to see a picture of the whole room. Unfortunately, when I saw the news coverage, it made it look like Camilla was sitting on ‘the naughty chair’.

    1. I agree that Camilla does better when her clothes have some structure.

      I didn’t see that news coverage, but I would say Joe Biden got the short end of the deal in terms of seating arrangement. He had to sit there with a boom mic over his shoulder and press breathing down his neck.

      1. That’s protocol. The President and the guest (the visiting President, Prince, King, whatever) get the iconic seats in front of the fireplace (which very rarely is actually lit), the Vice President and spouse or deputy sit on the couches. Since Biden’s the Veep, that’s his seat. I’m surprised he didn’t make some sort of smart aleck remark to them (I don’t want to get too political on this blog, but I have been a strong supporter of the President since his D.N.C. speech in ’04).

      2. The news shot I saw had Prince Charles and President Obama talking and Camilla sitting over to the side in a chair. I didn’t know Biden was in the room.

        This is why it looked so funny, as though there were three people in the room, but Camilla was an outcast.

        1. Oh, well that makes more sense. If it were just Charles and Obama talking and Camilla sitting over on the couch, that would make her seem like an outcast. But Biden was on a couch opposite of Camilla.

  6. Oh, KMR, thank you. What an amazing visit to the U.S. PC and Camilla had. They hit the ground running and became involved in some wonderful events. I liked the things PC said — specifically about the importance of preserving our oceans. and wildlife.

    The couple seemed to really participate in every visit they made wholeheartedly. I loved the photo of PC looking at the copy of The Declaration of Independence. I think it must have been amazing to see the patent that Lord Mountbatten made for a polo stick and to see the telegram relating to the toy he received as a child.

    Mount Vernon is a spectacular place and I doubt any member of the Royal Family would feel too comfortable placing a wreath on the grave of George Washington (only kidding). PC handled the task with dignity and grace. He really is a master of the finesse that PW is lacking at this point in life. PW, study your father and learn.

    I thought Camilla’s gown and cape were amazing. She looked just spectacular. And, the photo of her with the baby was adorable — as was the photo of her reading to the kids. I wish we could have seen the children’s reactions. She really relates beautifully to everyone she meets — adults and children, alike.

    I especially loved the photo of her with all the other women at the Women’s event. What an interesting shot and how nice it would have been to hear her speak. Alas, she had to listen to someone else, though.

    I think PC and Camilla really did sparkle during their visit. They came across so brilliantly and were relatable, as well.

    I never was a Camilla fan, but she is growing on me and showing herself to be a wonderful partner to her Prince.

    I wish they could have visited Sagamore Hill, Teddy Roosevelt’s magnificent home on Long Island. Maybe, next time. PC really spoke quite eloquently of the interest that TR had in helping preserve nature. PC is onto something, himself.

    Thanks for this post, KMR. It really spoke volumes as to what a Royal Visit should be.

    1. I agree with everything you said! Camilla is really starting to grow on me too and she looks more fabulous here than I’ve ever seen her. You can see the love, warmth and camaraderie she has with her husband and her affinity for children and animals is quite obvious. How refreshing to look at their trip pictures compared with Kate and William Middleton.

    2. I kind of think it’s funny that Charles viewed the Declaration of Independence and laid a wreath on Washington’s tomb because those two things are very definite reminders that we kicked the royals out of our country.

      It would have been nice if Camilla had given a speech, but since Charles gave three speeches and he really wanted to push his environmental causes, I can see why maybe he didn’t want her to give one.

  7. I agree. This is what a tour is about. Substance first. Charles was an environmentalist before it was cool. He revamped Highgrove and made it more sustainable. I read somewhere that he would make an excellent farmer.

    What I like about these two os that they have hearty appearances, but also have fun. You can tell that Charles.enjoys his job. As for Camilla, I have become a fan. I love how she balances her support of women’s rights along with her love of children and animals. You can tell that she puts people, including Charles at ease. As far as her fashion, she’s a woman who knows her body and what feels good on her. Her stylist is on point.

    They visited some beautiful parts of the US. Kentucky is lush and vibrant this time of year and D.C. is always picturesque. Thank you, KMR, for covering this trip.

    1. He really was. He was talking environmentalism for decades before people starting hopping on board that train.

      I’m glad people are enjoying the coverage of this trip.

      1. At least to me, Prince Charles will best be remembered for his early approach (early 1980’s) with organic gardening.

        I am sure there are many who wish they had started eating organic fruit and vegetables decades earlier.

        1. Yes. The big push now is organic, and Charles was pioneering that decades ago.

  8. I think Camilla looked good in all her fashion choices with the exception of the overly embellished Greek key-type coat. Too overwhelming, I thought. But you see, this is where I notice the clothes less than I do the substance of the visit. This couple is actually on a substantive tour, not a cobbled-together one for the sake of a vacation to NY as mentioned upthread. They toured some historically important venues, as well as some fun ones, while Charles delivered some thoughtful speeches. Kate should literally take a page from Camilla’s book if she wants to visit children’s charities and do something meaningful with them by reading to children as well. And I’m sure POTUS enjoyed his conversation more with Charles than he did with William. This is a heavy-weight couple from whom William and Kate would do well to emulate. Anyone who thinks (not on this blog) that Charles should abdicate in favor of William has rocks in their head since Charles proves he will make a more seasoned and capable king than William. But we all know how Wills feels about becoming king, so more than likely he wouldn’t excel at that role if he ever achieves it.

    Great coverage, KMR, thank you.

    1. I agree Charles will make a much better king than William. Charles has had his entire life to prepare for the role and he knows how to do his job. And overall, he wants the job. I don’t think William evens wants the top job (though I’m sure he’d want the perks).

      It would be great if Kate would actually interact with the kids and read to them.

  9. Great post KMR! Charles was so ahead of the game in regards to environmental issues and the need to work with nature not against it and for years he was derided for his beliefs but now so many people are realizing the same it must be wonderful for him.

    I thought Camilla looked great on this tour. While I’m not a fan of the satin inserts on the waist area of her coats, her overall look was stunning. And that evening dress with the cape was beautiful. My favorite piece was the cream cape she wore to the Kentucky Derby, it seems it be an elegant yet practical piece that I could see adding to my wardrobe.

    I love the photo of Camilla reading to the children. Such a grandma with her reading classes on, too cute.

    Camilla has been a royal now for almost 10 years and seems to be more and more comfortable in her role both as a support to the POW and on her own. It seems to me that many of the royal ladies we all admire have been on the job now for about the same amount of time, maybe it takes that long to truly assimilate into the royal lifestyle of protocol, engagements, speeches, etc. Plus for most of them their children are now of school age which leaves the women with more time to spend on their royal role. My thought with all of this is, maybe as time goes on and her children grow Kate will also become more comfortable in her role and can become the royal we’d like her to be.

    1. He got laughed at for talking to his plants, I remember. Now lots of people are doing far weirder things in regards to the environment and eating healthy.

      We can only hope that Kate will actually grow into her role and become more comfortable, confident, and do more work. I don’t want her to fail; I’d love to see her succeed.

  10. KMR, this is a great post. Thank you for this thorough coverage.

    I have never liked Camilla, but people on here have encouraged me to keep an open mind about her, so I’m trying to do that. And I will say she did a good job and looked good. I noticed what other people have already mentioned, that she seems to have substance. A close friend of mine was at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (in fact she’s in the photo!) and she said Camilla seemed “genuinely interesting and charming”.

    It seems as if Charles and Camilla have come to see the sights and meet the people and if people look at them, well that’s just to be expected. But Will and Kate go to any event or site just so people can see them. They never seem genuinely interested in others.

    I’m warming up to Charles and Camilla….!

    1. Ah that’s awesome that your friend said Camilla seemed interesting and charming. I didn’t used to like Camilla or Charles either, then I was just meh, now I kind of like them. They seem like they’d be interesting to talk to and they seem genuinely interested in their causes.

  11. What? You mean they didn’t visit a winery, a fair, or the beach? They had actual conversations with real people, as well as world leaders, without embarrassing everyone? They didn’t complain about how difficult their lives are, their child is, and that anyone can probably see into their bedroom? Charles gave multiple speeches? Take notice W and K! You are both I. Your 30s, not kids anymore, and waaaay behind the curve.

    On a side note, it is amazing to me to see how much more comfortable C and C are together, compared to the days he was married to Diana. Night and Day.

    1. Charles and Camilla really do seem to like each other. Like, they are genuinely friends and well as spouses.

  12. Terrific coverage, KMR. Charles and Camilla have substance and are clearly in harmony with one another. This is how to go about a tour. Clearly, she wouldn’t have worn pink to Ground Zero.

    Camilla’s beaded gown- to die for. That’s the best I’ve ever seen her look in anything.

    Keep it up. Can’t wait to see the rest.

  13. I just wish that PC wouldn’t go on and on regarding the environment the same time he flits about on a private jet. Would have made more sense if they flew BA first class.

    1. Sometimes that’s for the convenience of the security, not simply PC’s and C’s extravagance. The senior royals are high value targets for groups like Al Qaeda and the remnants of the IRA; the Queen was at the TOP of the IRA’s kill list for decades. The last major security breach that put a royal in physical jeopardy was the 2010 attack on C&C’s car. I think his extravagance is Charles’ Achilles heel. Like his grandmother, he has a staff of dozens, homes in London, Gloucestershire, Carmarthenshire, Isles of Scilly and two homes at Balmoral (the smaller has only 12 bedrooms, the horror!), luxury cars, fine wines, etc. He carries his own lavatory seat with him, has a gold-plated device to squeeze out the last ounce of toothpaste and has the habit of leaving handmade shirts and calf shoes strewn around his private quarters for the servants to pick up. He may be very concerned about the environment and work very hard at it but he is the grandson of a King, son of the Queen and no one is ever allowed to forget it. His girlfriends called him “Sir” until he and Diana were engaged.

    2. Even worse is President Obama, who is forever talking the talk about climate change, but never walking the walk. He and Michelle Obama recently flew from D.C. to California on separate jets. Even if they were going to different parts of the state, an outbound flight on Air Force one for both was in order and then, a smaller flight on a different plane. I am sick of people telling ordinary folk how to live ecologically correct and then, not living that way themselves. For PC and C it probably was a safety issue — security concerns, for certain.

  14. KMR thank you for the wonderful write up! I am very impressed with what Charles and Camilla accomplished on this trip. It really gets to the heart of the issue with PW/Kate. Charles understands his duty and Camilla understood and knew what was expected of her when she married him. I am not the biggest Camilla fan, but her work ethic on this trip was impressive. I agree with you, she looked beautiful!

  15. Yes, indeed! The coverage of this trip is outstanding! What a well-planned and beautifully executed trip by this Royal Couple You can see how well-prepared they were and how much they enjoyed themselves. They were not just walking through their appearances.
    Prince Charles is dedicated to ecological issues and has been for quite some time. He spoke passionately about his concerns and hopefully, motivated people to take action.

    Camilla really has stepped into her role beautifully. As others said, she and PC seem to really love one another. She’s there for him in every possible way and is carving out her own special position, as well. Like my friend, Jenny, I enjoyed the photos of her with the children The baby she was relating to was just darling and you could see that Camilla was enjoying the child Her reading to the children was also done with a sense of enjoyment Good for her.

    PC and Camilla handled even the “rough” spots of their tour with grace and had fun. That trip to the bowling alley could have been a disaster, but PC “rolled” with it and Camilla seemed to enjoy the visit, too.

    Mount Vernon is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. I hope PC and C enjoyed themselves, though others did point out the irony of a future King of England visiting George Washington’s home and final resting place. (Oh, those darn colonists)!

    While I grew up adoring Princess Diana as a child and mourning her early death with many tears, I am no longer vilifying Camilla. I would never condone extra marital affairs, but I am also ready to admit that people can make amends for their actions. I truly believe C and C love each other with their whole hearts and are doing their best to represent their country in a way that will make everyone proud. I think Charles will make an outstanding King. And, Camilla will continue to be an asset to him. She is going to be a strong presence in her own right, doing things that she has strong beliefs in.

    Truly, this trip is how things should be done. W & K should study it carefully. Then, follow suit by staying true to their interests, but working their royal butts off. Yes, for Kate, it will always be about fashion, but she should be working to make other parts of her being shine, as well.

    Speaking of fashion, Camilla’s gown was glorious. And, the cape she wore to Churchill Downs was just smashing. I loved her with the little donkeys. She really seemed to be enjoying herself.

    Here’s to C & C!

    Thanks, KMR for this really fine coverage of the Royal visit.

    1. I really love that Charles has really gotten into the fun of things when on royal tours. Years ago he never would have done the bowling, and had fun with it. He used to hate doing things like that, but he’s really loosened up recently and I think it is a good thing. People want to see the royal’s personalities, and want to see them have fun. By Charles doing the bowling, or wearing funny hats, or dancing around on tours, it shows he can have fun and not take himself too seriously, which is something that is great to see.

      The difference between how Charles acts when wearing funny hats or dancing or bowling and how William acted during his visit to Japan/China and elsewhere when he had to wear funny hats and outfits and participate in things, is that Charles seems to genuinely have fun with it. He knows he’s going to look a bit out of place but he never looks sheepish; he always takes it in stride. William looked so sheepish and like he knew he looked stupid and was embarrassed about it; instead of owning it and having fun.

      I too would never condone cheating, but I can respect the work Camilla does and how she has taken on her royal as wife of the future monarch.

  16. On a totally different note: I absolutely hate the striped wall paper in the Oval Office at the White House. To me, it smacks of Holiday Inn, or an assisted living facility’s attampt in making an “elegant” dining room, with no success. Every time I see a photo of a meeting in the President’s office, I cringe. Extreme Makeover Oval Office Edition is definitely in order! Please Mr. President, get rid of that horrific wall décor. Sorry, just call me, “Picky, Picky, Picky.”

    1. Lol, I never noticed before, but yeah I agree with you. That wallpaper is ugly. They really need something new in there.

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