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Charles embarks on 'diplomacy' tour

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are arriving in Lisbon at the start of a 10-day tour spearheading a "commercial diplomacy" effort.

Charles and Camilla will spend two days in Portugal before moving on to Spain on Wednesday and finally arriving in Morocco next Monday.

The royal couple will attend trade and industry events promoting British business in all three countries. They will also meet a number of major investors whose firms employ thousands of people in Britain.

While in Lisbon, Charles and Camilla will lay flowers at a monastery before the Prince has lunch with President Anibal Cavaco Silva.

Charles will also give a speech at a state dinner hosted by the President and First Lady, Dr Maria Cavaco Silva.

During the Spanish leg of the tour the royal couple will travel to Madrid and Seville where they will meet and thank volunteers who support the large British population in Spain.

The Prince and the Duchess will also have lunch with the Spanish royal family, including King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.

The visit to Morocco comes despite unrest in the Arab world that has toppled a number of north African leaders.

The country has so far avoided persistent unrest but several people died last month in violence linked to protests.

Clarence House said William Hague had confirmed to the royal couple that the visit should go ahead. But officials will be following developments with close attention.

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