Britain’s Prince Charles noted the “deep friendship and strong bonds” connecting Greece and his country through the centuries in a speech during an official dinner in Athens on Wednesday night, held to mark the 200th anniversary of the start of the Greek Revolution.
“I feel a deep connection to Greece – its landscapes, its history and its culture – and I am not alone in this: part of the essence of Greece is within all of us. As a source of Western culture, the spirit of Greece pervades our societies and democracies. Without Greece, our laws, our art, our way of life, would not have flourished,” the Prince of Wales said in his speech at the Presidential Mansion.
He also noted his family’s personal connections to Greece, saying the country was the homeland of his grandfather and the place of birth of his father. He also noted his grandmother, Princess Alice, who was in Greece during the dark years of the Nazi occupation and rescued a Jewish family – a feat for which she received the honour of Righteous Among the Nations from Israel.
The Prince ended his speech with verses from the Greek poem Hymn to Liberty, written by Dionysios Solomos in 1823, which is used as the national anthem of Greece.
“Let us hail you, oh Liberty!” he told attendees.
Prince Charles is accompanied by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
The dinner was attended, among others, by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his wife Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotakis, Russian Federation Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, French Defense Minister Florence Parly and the President of the Greece 2021 committee Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki and her spouse Theodoros Aggelopoulos.