Prince Charles invited to Greece for the country's 200th birthday

Prince Charles Credit: PA

Prince Charles has been invited to Greece to join the country's bicentennial celebrations in March.

The Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, extended the invitation in a phone call with the Prince of Wales - who is currently working from his Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire.

Charles wants to attend the commemorations of the birth of the modern day Greece, but he is unable to commit because of the severe travel restrictions in place in the UK.

A royal source said that the heir to the throne is "keen" to attend if he can. Approval for such a visit for the most senior travelling member of the British royal family might have been a simple formality before the coronavirus pandemic.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall try their hand at Greek dancing during their 2018 visit to Crete. Credit: PA

But royal tours and royal visits were put on ice last March, when Charles and Camilla's planned visit to Bosnia, Cyprus and Jordan was called off just days before they were due to fly.

Greece is celebrating the anniversary of the Greek Revolution in 1821 when the country fought for its independence from the Ottoman Empire. Greece had been under Ottoman rule since the 15th Century.

The War of Independence is celebrated by Greeks each year on 25 March.

Last year, Prince Charles wrote that Greece was "very much part of my identity" and he spoke of how his own connections to the country have "a particular resonance for me".

"It is the land of my grandfather," he wrote in an article for a Greek newspaper, referring to the Duke of Edinburgh's father, Prince Andrea of Greece and Denmark, who was a child of King George I of Greece.

Prince Philip himself was born on the Greek island of Corfu, but the family was forced into exile shortly after he was born, and Philip fled with his mother and sisters in 1922.

The Prince of Wales during his 2018 visit to Crete, Credit: PA

Prince Andrea was convicted at a court martial for his part in a humiliating defeat for Greece against the Turks in Anatolia.

Charles' grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenburg, is also honoured by the state of Israel for hiding a Jewish family, the Cohens, from the Nazis in occupied Athens in the Second World War.

If he gets approval to travel, he and his team will be able to claim diplomatic exemptions from the travel restrictions at that time.

When Charles and Camilla visited Germany recently on an significant trip to pay respects the country's war dead on the national day of mourning, the royal party were not subject to isolation requirements on their return to the UK.

The same exemptions exists for politicians and diplomats - like during the Brexit talks before Christmas.

Charles and Camilla were last in Greece during a three day tour of the country in 2018, shortly before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding.

They visited Athens and the historic Knossos site on the island of Crete.

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