Prince Charles has been awarded the City of Athens’ Gold Medal of Honour following a two-day tour of Greece.
The Prince of Wales and his wife, Camilla, recently attended a ceremony in Athens City Hall to honour Britain’s contribution during the 1821 Greek war. The British helped destroy a Turkish-Egyptian fleet in the Bay of Navarino, a town in Messenia on the Peloponnese peninsula.
During the ceremony, Athens mayor Kostas Bakoyannis presented the prince with a gold medal, adding that Britain is “a proven friend of Greece and Hellenism, and especially a friend of Athens, its history and its civilisation”.
In response to receiving the award, a delighted Charles joked that he didn’t think he would receive a gold medal “at my age”.
“So I'm even more grateful.”
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The 72-year-old royal also made mention of his Greek heritage and his bond with the country.
His father, the Duke of Edinburgh, was born a prince of Greece and Denmark on the Greek island of Corfu in 1921. Prince Philip's family later fled to Britain during the Greco-Turkish War when he was an infant.
“I know there is quite a bit of Greek blood flowing around me so this will always remind me of my connections to this remarkable country. So thank you.”
Charles went on to recognise the strides the Greek capital city has made to ensure it becomes a “great example of sustainability”.
“Because it is crucially important that cities like Athens and all around the world are much more involved in the drive towards greater sustainability, decarbonisation and indeed a regeneration of biodiversity.
“In the meantime, I shall wear this medal with great pleasure and pride. It will always remain something I shall treasure as a result of this visit to Athens but also of your great kindness and consideration to me after all these years.”
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Charles and Camilla also joined dignitaries to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Syntagma Square, a memorial dedicated to Greek soldiers killed during the war.
The royals also attended the Independence Day Military Parade, which saw fighter jets fly over Acropolis Hill, and were guests at a state dinner in the presidential mansion hosted by Katerina Sakellaropoulou, president of the Hellenic Republic.
Charles and Camilla have both received their Covid-19 jabs, making a gradual return to foreign travel more possible.
Sources: Daily Mail, Express, Sky News, Greek Reporter