UK

Prince Charles begins Middle East tour with Oman sword dance

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionPrince Charles does a sword dance during the royal visit to Oman

The Prince of Wales took part in a ceremonial sword dance as he arrived in Oman with the Duchess of Cornwall to begin their tour of the Middle East.

The prince laughed as he held a 3ft-long sword and moved in time to music in a ceremonial dance to welcome the pair on the first day of the visit.

Camilla later met children and parents at a cancer association's hostel.

During the seven-day trip the pair will also visit the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, with 50 engagements planned.

The couple are promoting UK partnerships in areas including wildlife conservation and women in leadership during the visit, which has been organised by the UK government.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Charles and Camilla look on during a cultural welcome ceremony

Prince Charles was greeted at Muscat International Airport by Oman's culture minister.

The royal couple were then given a ceremonial welcome as guests of Oman's ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said.

Later, the prince visited Muscat's new National Museum, which showcases the history of the nation.

Prince Charles was shown around the exhibits by Jamal Al Musawi, acting director of the museum, which houses items including a Magan boat, Islamic gates and three Royal Rasulid tombstones on loan from London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

The museum will open to guests in July.

Service of celebration

During her visit to Oman's Dar Al Hanan Hostel, Camilla met children and parents before attending a reception with supporters and sponsors.

The Oman Cancer Association, which became active in 2002, was established by prominent Omani woman and four-time cancer survivor Yuthar Al Rawai.

The royal couple then attended a service of celebration at Bait Al Noor Church, which was led by the Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf.

The service marked the 125th anniversary of the final visit to the country by the First Bishop of Lahore, Bishop Thomas Valpy French, who travelled to Oman in 1895 to establish an Anglican Church in Arabia.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The Duchess of Cornwall received a gift from a girl at the Oman Cancer Association's Dar Al Hanan Hostel
Image copyright AP
Image caption They pair attended a service to mark the 125th anniversary of the final visit to Oman by the First Bishop of Lahore
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Prince Charles was welcomed to Oman by culture minister Sayyid Haithem bin Tariq bin Taimur Al Said

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites