If it's Monday, it must be Athens, says Charles

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The Independent Online
PITY THE poor Royal Family. All those official visits, all those red carpet receptions, all those hands to shake. Everywhere starts to look the same after a while.

So much so, it's hard for the blue-blooded traveller to know where he or she actually is. One day it's Brunei, the next it's Fiji. It might as well be Aylesbury or Altrincham, or even Abu Dhabi.

Yesterday for the Prince of Wales it was Athens, and what a pleasant change it made for the well-known critic of modern architecture. On a visit to the home of the ancient Acropolis he even knew where he was.

"We both know all too well that after the last war many cities, not only in your country but also in mine, have been redeveloped so that sometimes it is impossible to know which country you are in - such is the internationalisation of our cities," the Prince told Dimitris Arramopoulos, the city mayor. "It is always a great pleasure to return to Athens and see something of this great city."

As Prince Charles toured the Acropolis, a few thousand miles away in Fiji, his brother Andrew was being given a reception likely to remind him of his visit for years to come. After insisting on a relaxed walkabout to meet the people, the Duke of York was met by hordes of screaming teenage girls and young women - many of whom seemed to swoon after shaking his hand.

Back in Greece, Prince Charles was not having nearly so much fun. As icy winds whipped off the Mediterranean, he had to content himself not with screaming hordes of amorous women but with a medallion presented by the mayor. The stiff upper lip barely quivered. "I really am very touched and honoured," he said, "to have been given this wonderful medal of Athens."

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