Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles will be in Kumarakom till Thursday.

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, arrived at Kumarakom to a warm reception by scores of people who waited for them braving a heavy downpour on Tuesday evening.

The couple arrived separately. The Duchess, along with her entourage, arrived by 4.15 p.m. A formal reception was arranged by the authorities of hotel where they will stay. The Duchess was welcomed with a jasmine garland and a bouquet.

The Prince arrived by 7.20 pm. Though it was raining, Prince Charles rolled down the window of his vehicle to wave to the people who had thronged the hotel gate to get a glimpse of the British royal.

An official release said the couple would spend a day of leisure on Wednesday, and no official programmes had been arranged for the day.

Authorities said arrangements for a houseboat ride and cultural programmes had been made in case the royal couple wished to have a first-hand Kumarakom experience.

Meanwhile, the India Meteorology Department (IMD) forecast says the district will experience thunderstorm and rain on Wednesday and Thursday. The temperature will be 24 degree Celsius (minimum) and 31 degree Celsius (maximum).

Charles’s birthday

IANS adds: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is grappling with a unique problem of what to gift birthday boy Prince Charles.

Mr. Chandy and family will meet Prince Charles on Thursday, his 65th birthday. The meeting will take place at Kumarakom, where Mr. Chandy spent his childhood, as his mother hailed from the place. Mr. Chandy said they would meet Prince Charles between 10.30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Thursday.

“Yes, we are giving him a present and we have kept our options open and are yet to decide on what it should be. Our people are thinking about it,” Mr. Chandy said.

Mr. Chandy has been advised that it should be something which Prince Charles should treasure and which will occupy a pride of place in his palace. And when asked if there would be any discussion with the Prince, Mr. Chandy said: “It’s more of a courtesy call.”

After their meeting with Mr. Chandy on Thursday, they will leave for Colombo from Kochi.The Kumarakom Lake Resort, where the royal couple would be staying from Tuesday evening till Thursday, has made elaborate arrangements and has kept a houseboat ready should they decide to take a trip on the Vembanad lake. Thirty rooms have been booked by the visitors. The Kerala Police have made elaborate arrangements and close to 400 police officers have taken over the security of the resort.

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