Prince Charles and Camilla Welcome Aung San Suu Kyi

  June 21, 2012 at 10:12 am by

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On June 20, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall welcomed one Nobel Prize laureate at Clarence House – the Dalai Lama. And just a day later, they had the chance to greet another equally fascinating person (and fellow Nobel Prize laureate) – Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Burmese pro-democracy opposition leader met with Prince Charles and Camilla at Clarence House in the latest stop on her tour of Britain. She was greeted by the royal couple on the steps of their London residence and shared a few words before the Duchess welcomed their guest inside. The trio talked for about an hour but the details of their conversation were not revealed as it was considered a private affair. They then emerged into Clarence House’s garden for a tree-planting ceremony. They walked over to a new bed where a tiny black tulip magnolia sapling was waiting. Suu Kyi asked how many shovels of earth she should cover the roots with, to which the Duchess of Cornwall replied: “Three is good luck”.

While this is the first meeting of the Heir to the Throne and Aung San Suu Kyi, he knew her late husband, Michael Aris, very well; in honour of Mr Aris, the Prince agreed to become became patron of the Michael Aris Memorial Trust for Tibetan and Himalayan Studies.

Ms Suu Kyi is on a four-day visit to the UK as part of a European tour, the first time she has left Burma in nearly 25 years. She has close connections with Britain having read at University of Oxford between 1964 and 1967, before settling in the University City with her late husband Michael Aris; she would later describe those years as among happiest in her life, and what gave her strength not to give up in years of house arrest.

Earlier in the day, Aung San Suu Kyi was welcomed by the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street; David Cameron praised her as a global symbol of courage and hope. Later, she delivered a historic speech to a standing ovation from MPs and peers in a packed Westminster Hall; in that, she became the only woman, apart from Queen Elizabeth, to have address both houses of the British Parliament.

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