Royal Roundup: Prince of Wales Visits Tanzania and South Africa

Prince Charles and Camilla in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, Nov. 4 (Rex Features/AP Images)

Prince Charles is in Tanzania, the second leg of his African tour, after a five-day visit to South Africa.

The major themes of the trip to the continent are trade, education and the issue the Prince is most closely identified with, the environment.

In Tanzania, Charles held talks with the east African nation’s president Jakaya Kikwete, and met with soldiers who served as peacekeepers in the Darfour region of Sudan.

Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, also visited “Wonder Welders,” an organization of disabled crafts makers, who use discarded and recycled materials. The royal couple decided to work on some crafts as well:

BBC News also has a photo gallery of Charles and Camilla in Tanzania.

Before leaving South Africa on Sunday, Charles and Camilla met with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at a church service in Cape Town’s St. George’s cathedral.

“It’s good to see you again,” the Prince said to Tutu, as he introduced Camilla to the Nobel Peace prize winner.

In comments after their meeting, reported by the Telegraph, Tutu said of the royal couple: “They are a symbol, they hold together a very diverse commonwealth, and they bring also a great deal of history and tradition.”

Tutu added, “We have a new nation but we balance with the commonwealth and the empire, we have a long shared history.”

Like Charles, Tutu has been a proponent of action to reverse climate change.

As Charles sat with Camilla at the Sunday morning service, the current archbishop, Thabo Makgoba, made a little joke about his distinguished guests during the sermon.

“I suspect that in this year of royal weddings, your royal highnesses know rather more than most of us quite how much preparation such occasions require,” he told them, causing the prince to smile.

“It even crossed my mind Sir, that I should perhaps cede the pulpit to you,” Makgoba said.

In other news in this special, “Charles in Africa” edition of the Royal Roundup:

• On Saturday, the Prince delivered a speech at the University of Cape Town where he warned of the risks of overfishing the oceans, which he said were “over-exploited” and “close to collapse.” He also criticized foreign speculators and hedge funds for grabbing land from small African farmers.

“I do not see small farmers as backward relics of the past,” he said. “In fact, I see them as an utterly crucial cornerstone of the future.”

Clarence House posted the speech on YouTube:

• The University of Cape  Town has had a long and close relationship to the British royal family, noted the South African Mail & Guardian. King Edward VIII, before he became king, was the university’s chancellor. After he abdicated, the wife of his successor (King George VI) was given an honorary degree and, according to one historian, her welcome at the school was like a “rapture verging on heroine worship.”

The Mail & Guardian wrote that sentiment about the current trip is slightly different:
“In 2011, gone is the rapture, royal worship having transformed into something akin to celebrity ogling.”

• Also during the speech, the Prince gave his strong approval to the creation of a new environmental position at the university.

“I, for one, have been incredibly heartened by Cape Town University’s decision to appoint a pro vice chancellor for climate change — an idea which I can only hope will catch on elsewhere.” (via CNN)

• The royal couple, being especially fond of horticulture, also visited a botanical garden in Cape Town. While being mobbed by fans, they also saw model gardens.

One of the models demonstrated the effects of climate change – all but the most resilient plants died.

“It’s a major exercise in planning, isn’t it? To put all of this in,” the Prince remarked, as reported by The Telegraph. “I always think the people who make these models are brilliant.”

“They’re works of art in themselves,” Camilla added.

• Earlier, the Prince poked fun at his tastes in fashion with two of Africa’s top models, reported BBC News.

“I’m a classic, timeless, man,” he told South African model Donnet Dumas, and Lukundo Nalungwe, from Zambia, who was the Face of Africa in 2010. “My fashion sense only changes every 25 years.”

He met the models at a reception to promote the use of wool over synthetic fabrics, a cause for which the Prince is an official spokesman.

• On Friday, King Goodwill Zwelethini of Zululand took Charles and Camilla to a nature preserve, where they discussed the dire plight of the endangered rhinoceros.

South Africa has the largest remaining rhino population in the world, but it is being threatened by poaching.

“Some 310 rhinos are said to have been killed this year alone,” said the Zulu king, according the South African Witness. “Without any preventative measures these numbers are set to increase.”

The Press Association reported that Charles spotted an elusive black rhino, while Camilla missed seeing it. Earlier in the day, Charles said it was a “mad idea” to use rhino horns for medicine; the belief that the animal’s horn can cure diseases, including cancer, is said to be the motive behind the current poaching.

• AFP reported that Prince Charles and the Zulu king also spoke of the historical relationships between their two nations, which included outright war in the 1870s.

“Our relationship hasn’t always been entirely smooth, but it has always been characterized by deep admiration and respect,” said Charles at Ondini Palace in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, where British forces crushed Zulu independence in 1879.

“Our great nation, the Zulus, and the British share a very rich history that is both good and not so good,” Zwelithini said in his speech. “Our meeting today marks a new beginning between our nations, an era of mutual respect and cooperation.”

The South African Times Live reported that Charles was invited to next January’s re-enactment of the battle of Isandlwana, a famous defeat for British troops during the conflict.