Yesterday was the final leg of Charles and Camilla’s extensive tour of Europe, ending in Austria after visiting Romania and Italy. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were received at Vienna’s airport by the British Ambassador to Austria, Leigh Turner, and Mua Duzdar, the State Secretary.
Charles and Camilla first visited Café Demel in the capital, a famous pastry shop and chocolaterie established in 1786. The Royals watched pastry chefs work their magic on apple strudel and Sacher Torte.
They were then seated and tried some of the delicacies, with hand-made cheese biscuits, tea and cakes.
Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall then went to the Hofburg Palace in Vienna city centre to meet with the President and his wife, Doris Schmidauer.
The ladies then toured the Presidential Apartments at Hofburg Palace. The palace was built in the 13th century and has been the seat of power of the Habsburg dynasty (in the winter) and now the republic’s president.
Charles later called upon Chancellor Christian Kern at the Palace, before the couple rounded off the evening by dining with the President and his wife.
The couple’s day began with a visit the Jewish Museum in Vienna. The Museum seeks to raise awareness of Jewish history, religion, and culture. The Prince of Wales, who is patron of Holocaust Memorial Day, and Camilla met with Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust survivor Gerda Frei, 80, said: “It is wonderful that the Prince and Duchess came here.”
“The Prince told us how proud he was of his grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece, who hid a Jewish family from the Nazis.”
Princess Alice, Prince Philip’s mother who became a nun in later life, hid Jewish families from the Nazis who had invaded Greece. She was awarded a posthumous award of bravery which The Duke of Edinburgh collected in 2015.
It was then on to a performance by the Wiener Philharmoniker (Viennese Philharmonic), where the couple listened to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony during rehearsal. The orchestra is considered one of the finest in the World.
Charles and Camilla also saw artefacts relating to famous Austrian musicians and composers, including Beethoven’s ear trumpet.
Next, the Royals visited a small wine tavern attached to a local vineyard (Buschenschank), where they tasted wine and local food, including cured meats, cheeses and bread. The Duchess is patron of the British Vineyards Association.
Finally for The Duchess of Cornwall, she visited the Spanish Riding School, a traditional riding school for Lipizzan horses, which perform in the Winter Riding School. They are famous for their routines of acrobatic nature and have been practising the art for over 450 years.
The Prince of Wales meanwhile visited the Austrian Integration Fund to learn about their work meeting with refugees and discussing topics such as modern slavery and human trafficking.
Charles and Camilla thus ended their 9-day tour of Europe, returning to London on their RAF flight later that afternoon.