EEV: Guess human rights will not exactly be his forte ?
- Prince Charles took part a ceremony celebrating culture in Saudi Arabia
- Heir to the throne joined members of Saudi royal family in a sword dance
- Prince wore a flowing outfit known as a ‘thobe’, traditionally worn by men from the Arab Gulf states
- Charles is on a tour of the Middle East visiting Saudi Arabia and Qatar
PUBLISHED: 21:00 EST, 18 February 2014 | UPDATED: 21:00 EST, 18 February 2014
Despite the sword in his hand and the traditional robes, it wasn’t quite Lawrence of Arabia.
Still, Prince Charles did his best to enter into the spirit of things during a ceremony celebrating cultural life in Saudi Arabia last night.
The heir to the throne joined members of the Saudi royal family in an Ardah – sword dance – in a stadium in capital Riyadh.
Looking daggers: Charles, in flowing traditional robes, tries to get into the spirit of things
Prince Charles dances with sword during the traditional Saudi dancing best known as ‘Arda’
The prince wore a flowing outfit known as a ¿thobe¿, traditionally worn by men from the Arab Gulf states
The prince wore a flowing outfit known as a ‘thobe’, traditionally worn by men from the Arab Gulf states, a chequered headdress and a ceremonial dagger.
The Ardah features hundreds of Saudi Arabian men and boys dancing in formation with swords in hand.
It was performed as part of the Janadriyah Festival, an annual event lasting 17 days which celebrates Saudi culture and is being held this week in Riyadh.
The Prince’s host was Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, former head of the Saudi intelligence service, named Second Deputy Prime Minister by King Abdullah last year.
The Ardah features hundreds of Saudi Arabian men and boys dancing in formation with swords in hand
Prince Charles wearing traditional Saudi costume joined members of the Saudi royal family in an Ardah
Britain’s Prince Charles wearing traditional Saudi costume walks with Saudi second deputy Prime Minister Mugren bin Abdulaziz (left down), after the end of the traditional Saudi dancing
Charles is on a three-day tour of the Middle East, visiting Saudi Arabia and Qatar at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
It is just under a year since he last visited the nations, and this is his tenth official trip to Saudi Arabia.
It has led to calls by campaign group Amnesty International for the prince to raise the troubling issue of human rights. Saudi Arabia is heavily criticised for its refusal to tolerate political dissent, lack of an open and fair legal system and indiscriminate death penalty.
Britain’s Prince Charles (third right) wears traditional Saudi uniform as he dance with a sword with Saudi second deputy of Prime Minister (left) and Prince Waleed bin Talal (centre)
Allegations of torture are also regularly levelled against the police.
Women can not drive and must obtain the permission of a male guardian before they can travel, work, study or marry.
Qatar has also been scrutinized for its human rights record with the World Cup looming in 2022.
Allan Hogarth, of Amnesty, said: ‘If the opportunity arises for frank discussion of human rights we’d certainly like him to take it.’
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