Charles and Boris Johnson all smiles as they meet for first time amid 'row' over Rwanda policy

Royal Editor Chris Ship reports after Prince Charles' much anticipated meeting with Boris Johnson on Friday

Prince Charles and Boris Johnson politely smiled and shook hands in front of the cameras as the pair met face-to-face for the first time since the heir to the throne reportedly criticised his Rwanda asylum policy.

The Prince of Wales and the prime minister met at the Commonwealth summit in the east African nation's capital of Kigali, and are due to have private talks over tea on Friday morning.

Their meeting comes after Charles reportedly called the government's scheme to send asylum seekers to Rwanda “appalling” in private remarks.

Officials on both sides say the policy will not be one of the topics discussed during the trip and instead they will focus on the future of the Commonwealth and girls’ education.

Mr Johnson had earlier suggested he would tell Charles to be open-minded and that there are “obvious merits” to his controversial policy if he raises criticism in their meeting later.

But his comments appeared to frustrate royal aides.

He has since rowed back from these comments saying he would not discuss conversations with the Queen or the heir to the throne.

The Duchess of Cornwall and Carrie Johnson greeted one another with a kiss on the cheek at the summit. Credit: PA

The PM told broadcasters in Rwanda on Friday: “I wouldn’t comment on anything that I say to the Queen or the Queen says to me, nor would I say what the heir to the throne might say to me or what I may say to him.

“Prime ministers never talk about that. What I will say is as people come to Rwanda, like you have today, there are a lot of prejudices about Rwanda need to be blown away.

“So, actually, the achievements of the government of Rwanda over the last couple of decades have been remarkable.”

Charles, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations Patricia Scotland, President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, and the PM met on Friday. Credit: PA

In a series of earlier interviews, Mr Johnson struck out at “condescending” opponents of his stalled scheme to forcibly remove migrants who arrive through unauthorised means to Rwanda.

The first flight removing people to Rwanda was due to take off last week, but was grounded by successful legal challenges ahead of a full hearing on the scheme’s legality in UK courts.

The policy is one element of a £120 million economic deal with Kigali, but has been widely criticised in part because of concerns about Rwanda’s human rights record.

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