Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, wrapped up their sojourn at Kumarakom with a low-key birthday celebration for the Prince who turned 65 on Thursday.
The royal couple who enjoyed a day of leisure on Wednesday had only one ‘official’ function at Kumarakom on Thursday, when they received Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who along with his wife, son, daughter, and grandson, wished the prince a happy birthday.
Mr. Chandy presented the Prince with a hand-carved statue of an elephant in rosewood while his wife Mariamma Oommen presented the Duchess with an ‘aamaada petti,’ a traditional painted wooden box for keeping jewellery, along with a traditional Kerala sari.
Later, speaking to the media, the Chief Minister said the Prince expressed keen interest in the sustainable development efforts of the State. He handed over to the Prince a copy of the document on Vision 2030 (Perspective Plan 2030) as “he was known to have great interest in sustainable development,” Mr. Chandy said.
He also handed over to the Prince a document on the works taken up for the physically challenged and also a report on the functioning of the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH).
Mr. Chandy said the possibility of exchange of experts in the management of physically challenged persons was discussed.
They also discussed the inking of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between a U.K. firm and the Aluva Municipality and the Prince dropped a hint of his desire to revisit the State as part of his involvement in the project.
The two families spent 20 minutes together. The couple left for Kochi by 11.30 a.m.
“They appreciated the beauty of Kerala very much and said they would like to visit the state again,” Mr. Chandy said.