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  1. ITV Report

Charles and Camilla hit the road in vintage MG during Cuba visit

  • Video report by ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship

The Prince of Wales got behind the wheel of a classic British car in Havana as him and Camilla embraced Cuba’s love of vintage motoring.

With the Duchess of Cornwall in the passenger seat, the heir to the throne drove a 1953 black MG TD to a British vintage sports car rally in John Lennon Park.

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After a spin in the MG, Charles and Camilla took a seat next to a statue of the Beatle.

The sculpture of Lennon was made by Cuban artist José Villa Soberón to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the former Beatle's death in 2000.

The Beatles had previously been banned in Cuba in 1964 by Fidel Castro who considered the Fab Four to be a symbol of consumerism.

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The car driven by Charles was once owned by Britain’s ambassador to Cuba in 1957 – two years before Castro’s revolution.

It is now owned by Eduardo Bermudez, 47, who has had a love of British cars since he was a boy. He painstakingly restored the car after having found it in terrible condition in a garage.

He is amoung a group of hardcore Cuban fans dedicated to UK cars from Triumph, Austin-Healey, Jaguar and others.

Charles helps Camilla out of the car as they arrive at John Lennon Park. Credit: PA

He said: “If you want something original and different you should buy British. In the 1950s everybody had American cars but the best sports cars were from England.”

Charles, who owns an Aston Martin DB5 Volante convertible which runs on cheese by-product and old wine, had a practice run in the MG on Monday.

Mr Bermudez said: “It’s just like my baby, you cannot drive it all the time,” but added: “To have my car driven by somebody like him – it’s in safe hands.”

Charles later described how it was quite tricky getting used to the MG. He said: "The one I was driving is the most beautiful car.

"It has an incredibly powerful accelerator. It is incredibly close to the brake, so you have to be careful you don't press the wrong one."