British Crown Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are visiting Croatia on Monday and Tuesday as part of a regional tour that will include Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo.

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic will be their host during their visit to Croatia. The Prince of Wales has visited the region eight times to date, and this will be his fifth visit to Croatia. The Duchess is visiting Croatia for the first time.

This is an important visit for us and its purpose is to strengthen relations between Croatia and Great Britain, not just political relations, but also relations between citizens, Ian Cliff, Charge d'Affairs at the British Embassy in Zagreb, has said. 

The Prince and the Duchess are not political representatives of the United Kingdom and their visit will not focus on burning political issues, such as whether Britain will stay in the European Union, but on issues in the domain of their interest, Cliff said.

The Prince has for years been a strong supporter of inter-religious dialogue and greater understanding between religions and has been advocating youth education, sustainable development, environmental protection and responsible business.

The Duchess is known for her efforts to raise public awareness of sexual violence, for supporting rape victims, promoting literacy and raising awareness of osteoporisis. She is also the patron of several foundations dealing with horses.

They both support local food production and promote healthy diets. Prince Charles is patron or president of 420 charity organisations and foundations, and Duchess Camilla is patron or president of about 20 such organisations.

The royal couple are due to arrive at Zagreb airport at 2.15 pm on Monday. Their visit will be covered by about 180 accredited Croatian and British journalists.

They will begin their visit by meeting with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and her husband Jakov. It has been learnt that the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will be presented with a painting and wines from the Ilok cellars that were served during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.

The schedule includes a sight-seeing tour of Zagreb's Upper Town, where the royal couple will be greeted by Mayor Milan Bandic. They are due to visit St Mark's Church and then meet with Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic. Later on they will visit the Croatian National Theatre to attend a programme marking the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.

In the evening a formal dinner will be given in the President's Office, to be attended by 68 guests, including political leaders, religious dignitaries, business people and prominent public figures. Opposition leader Zoran Milanovic has excused himself, citing pressing business. Among the guests will be actress Zrinka Cvitesic who has achieved great success in London's West End.

On Tuesday, the royal couple will travel to eastern Croatia to visit Osijek and its old town which is included on UNESCO's World Heritage List. They are due to meet with local government officials and representatives of religious and ethnic communities and business people. During their meetings, the Duchess will talk about victims of sexual violence and the Prince about post-war reconstruction, cultural heritage and tourism.

Prince Charles is scheduled to visit Kopacki Rit Nature Park and the Zlatna Greda environmental centre to get acquainted with activities relating to sustainable development, while the Duchess will visit the Lipizzan stud farm in Djakovo, one of the oldest in Europe. Queen Elizabeth II visited the farm in 1972 and drove around the town in a four-horse carriage. Today the carriage is on display in the Djakovo Riding School, along with the guest book signed by the Queen and several photographs.

At the end of their visit, on Tuesday evening Prince Charles and his wife will attend a reception at the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb marking the 70th anniversary of the presence of the British Council in Croatia. It is not yet known whether on this occasion the Prince will briefly address those present.

During the visit to the region from March 14 to 19, the Prince is scheduled to deliver his main speech in Belgrade on March 17 on the subject of reconciliation.

Related stories

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.