Prince Charles isn”t taking his diplomatic trip to the Middle East lightly.
The royal, who is travelling with the Duchess of Cornwall, revealed that he has been taking private Arabic lessons but that the language “goes in one ear and out the other”.
The Prince”s aides later confirmed his passion for Arabic and said the future King was “enormously interested in the region”.
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Charles”s anecdote came as he attended a reception in Qatar where the royals are currently on the second leg of a nine-day tour covering Oman, Saudi Arabia and Jordan – where trip began.
The event, held in the capital Doha, honoured Qataris who have attended British universities. Charles told alumni: “You all speak such good English.”
Thursday was the royals” first full day in Qatar. The night before they had received a warm welcome from the country”s secretary General Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Saud Al Thani and his team.
The Prince of Wales and his Duchess were also due to meet with the Qatari royal family and celebrate events held to mark the fact that 2013 is “UK-Qatar Year of Culture”.
There were moving scenes during the first part of their trip when the royals met Syrian refugees at King Abdullah Park. The facility is home to more thousands of people who have fled the war-torn country.
Camilla bonded with the women and children she met, saying: “Seeing all these children, some of them have lost their parents and been adopted by others, I feel it is quite heartbreaking”.