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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 October 2005, 18:18 GMT 19:18 UK
Charles and Camilla will tour US
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall
The prince has made private visits to the US since his last official tour
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will travel to the US next month on their first official overseas royal tour.

The tour will include engagements in New York, Washington DC, and San Francisco, said Clarence House.

The couple will meet UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and have a lunch and a dinner with President George W Bush and his wife at the White House.

The prince's last official tour to the country was in 1994.

Neither the exact dates of the visit nor details of where the couple are staying have been released, for security reasons, but Clarence House confirmed they would not be staying at the White House.

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said the visit - to a country where Diana, Princess of Wales is still held in high esteem - was a "bold move", representing the latest stage in the development of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall as a senior royal.

He said it was thought the couple would visit Ground Zero in New York, the site of the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001, to pay their respects to the victims.

No final decision has been taken on whether the couple would visit the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, said our correspondent.

'Links'

Prince Charles was recently interviewed on US news programme 60 Minutes, on CBS, for a show to be screened during the visit.

He was also filmed by the broadcaster as he carried out royal engagements with Camilla in the UK last month.

The Prince of Wales briefly visited the country in June 2004 for the funeral of former President Ronald Reagan in Washington.

Although his last official tour there was 11 years ago he has made a number of private visits since then.

The duchess went on a four-day trip to New York in September 1999, accompanied by two of Charles' key aides, which was dubbed her "first royal tour" by the tabloids.

A spokesman said the couple's first official trip would "highlight some of the many links which bind the two countries together and have done for many years".

"It will also focus on the vital importance of the economic relationship, and the exceptional range of cultural, environmental and community links between the two nations," a spokesman said.

The statement added that sustainability would be another theme of the tour, in areas such as housing and education, and farming and food sourcing.




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