Prince Charles — better known these days as the father of the groom — arrived Tuesday for a busy three-day visit to the nation’s capital.
Fresh off the royal wedding, the prince (without wife Camilla) came to Washington to talk about one of his passions: organic farming. He’s giving the keynote address Wednesday at “The Future of Food” conference at Georgetown University. But first, a tour of Common Good City Farm, the District’s only urban farm.
Officials tried to get first lady Michelle Obama to visit the half-acre where herbs, fruits and vegetables are grown and distributed to low-income residents. “We came close to having her. We tried once. It fell through,” said Executive Director Pertula George. Instead, they got real royalty. “I’m beyond excited,” she told our colleage Nikita Stewart.
A Clarence House spokesman told reporters that the trip, the prince’s first to the United States in four years, has three main themes: environmental sustainability, education and cooperation between British and American forces. Other stops on the prince’s agenda: a Marshall Scholar alumni reception at the Supreme Court; a reception for British Forces Foundation and USO; a White House visit Wednesday with President Obama (who’s traveling to Britian for a state visit later this month); and a private dinner at the Georgetown home of Sen. John Kerry.
And what fun is royalty without a little pomp? Before he leaves Thursday morning, Charles will present honors from the queen to three Americans at an investiture ceremony: Folger Shakespeare Library Director Gail Paster and Henry Becton, former president of Boston’s WGBH public televison station, will receive the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE); educator Martin Lancaster will get an OBE.