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Charles and Camilla enjoy a walking tour of Old Havana in Cuba

The Prince of Wales visited a boxing gym and The Duchess of Cornwall popped into a cafe for an impromptu band performance on the first full day of their historic visit in Cuba.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall enjoyed a walking tour of the old town amid chaotic scenes - and the refrain of Guantanamera wherever they went.

The couple, who have made history by becoming the first British royals to set foot in the communist country, arrived at the Plaza de Armas for an hour and a half long guided tour, helped by guide Eusebio Leal.

Wandering around the leafy square, surrounded by picturesque ice cream-coloured buildings, many dating back to the 16th Century, the royal pair looked entranced.

 The couple, who are being followed by a small British media contingent, were greeted by dozens of jostling Cuban television cameras and photographers taking a keen interest in their historic visit, leading a clearly bemused Charles to comment: ‘They are very energetic, these press people!’

Prince Charles visits a boxing gym in Havana. Two boxers helpfully hold open the ropes so  Charles can get in the ring and get an understanding of the sweet science

Camilla visits Hogar Materno Infantil maternity home and then view's a performance of La Colmenita at a children's theatre

The Prince of Wales visits the Rafael Trejo Boxing Gym in Havana, Cuba, during an historic trip which celebrates cultural ties between the UK and the Communist state

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall go on a guided walking tour of Old Havana in Cuba today

Charles and Camilla tour Old Havana today during an historic trip which celebrates cultural ties between the UK and Cuba

Their Royal Highnesses made history by becoming the first members of the royal family to visit Cuba in an official capacity

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall watch a performance during a visit to the Acosta Dance Company

Charles visits a barbershop but chooses against getting a trim on his first visit to the Community country

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall receives a kiss on her hand during a guided tour of Old Havana today

Camilla speaks to patients at the Hogar Materno Infantil maternity unit in Havana today during their royal tour of Cuba

The Duchess of Cornwall poses with two well-wishers in colourful dresses during a guided tour of Old Havana today

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall is offered a treat of churros as they take a tour today of Old Havana, Cuba

Prince Charles and Camilla undertake a walking tour of Old Havana today, guided by historian Eusebio Leal (centre, pointing)

Old Havana was founded by the Spanish in 1519 in the natural harbour of the Bay of Havana and will celebrate its 500th anniversary later this year.

Their first stop was the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales - once the Spanish seat of power - where Camilla, who was carrying a parasol against the 85Fheat, looked round in astonishment and mouthed: ‘Wonderful.’

Then it was out onto the narrow streets of the town, large swathes of which have fallen into disrepair, much like the rest of Havana, but is now being diligently restored by a large team of craftsmen.

Camilla wandered over to a group of American tourists who quizzed her about the Duchess of Sussex's pregnancy. Mimi Ricketts, 50, said: 'I said 'are you excited about the new baby about to arrive in your family?' and she said yes she was.'

Mindy Whittle also got the chance to meet royalty and said after her encounter: 'I love her (Camilla's) dress. We shook hands - do I have to pay extra for that?' 

 With their police detail fighting back the crowds, the prince and his wife managed to push their way through to where a colourful group of street musician were playing, who broke into classic Cuban tune Guantanamera for the first of many times that morning.

Charles and Camilla listened, entranced by the smiling energy of the performers, and the prince was seen to throw a few pesos in their hat.

Next on their tour was the unveiling of a new statue of William Shakespeare as the latest addition to the area’s street commemorating notable literary figures.

They also stopped off to see a female run bicycle rental business, Ha’bici.

The couple then went their separate ways, with Charles popping in to see the team of architects that that are overseeing the restoration of Old Havana, including Ailyn Penton, 25, who recently enjoyed a summer school at Charles’s Princes Foundation for the Building Community. ‘It was amazing, I have never experienced anything like it before,’ she told the clearly touched prince.

As he walked along the beautiful Calle de Los Mercaderes, a cobbled, car-free street, he reached to shake the hands of dozens of well-wishers.

‘Ole! Ole!’ Shouted one in order to stop Charles in his tracks.

‘I’m so pleased to meet you,’ he said, before peering inside Cafe Bohemia, in the iconic Plaza Viejas.

Inside the Escuella Taller de La Habana, a school teaching young people the skill of restoration through traditional arts, the heir to the throne broke the habit of a lifetime and gave his autograph - on a piece of plaster that will be used on the restored National Capitol, a local landmark building.

‘I’m so sorry to have interrupted your work,’ he apologised.

Outside he unexpectedly popped into a local barbers - Salon Corrreo - where he sat down in an original 1950s chair.

Owner Josephine Nando’s desperately tried to get him to let her cut his locks ‘Please, just a little bit!’ She begged, clearly eyeing up the royal barnet.

‘No, no, ‘ the prince demurred, adding laughingly: ‘I’ve just come in here for the air conditioning!’

He managed a few minutes respite from the heat and the crowds in a small cafe on Calle Teniente Rey, but then pressed on to meet up again with his wife for a recital at the Church and Convent of St Francis of Assisi where they watched a rehearsal by all-female Chamber Music Group, Camerata Romeu.

He managed a few minutes respite from the heat and the crowds in a small cafe on Calle Teniente Rey, but then pressed on to meet up again with his wife for a recital at the Church and Convent of St Francis of Assisi where they watched a rehearsal by all-female Chamber Music Group, Camerata Romeu.

Camilla carried a parasol to ward off the searing sun but Charles managed to keep cool in a shirt, tie and suit during their walkabout.

Meanwhile the Duchess of Cornwall made an impromptu diversion from her official programme to listen to a traditional Cuban band during a walkabout in Old Havana.

As she made her way from one engagement to another in the historic centre of the capital, her attention was caught by the sound of a band playing a bar.

She stepped into the bar, where she stood there entranced for five minutes as the band played a couple of traditional numbers - tapping her toes and, possibly, enjoying the fact that the bar was rather cooler than the streets outside.

“They were brilliant, weren’t they?” said duchess. “I loved them.”

The first stop on her solo tour was the Hogar maternity hospital, an opportunity for Cuba to show off the health care of which it is so proud.

There she met women who are in-patients at the hospital months before their baby is due in cases where doctors believe that the developing foetus needs close monitoring.

The prince and his wife begin their day by going on a guided tour of the Unesco World Heritage Site of Old Havana today

The duchess asked one woman when her baby was due, and was told July. “I was born in July,” the duchess said. “It’s a very good month.”

Another told her she was having twins. “I’ve got twin grandsons,” said the duchess. “It is very nice to have twins - they can look after each other.”

As the duchess made her way through the crowd, shaking hands with a line of people, she met a living statue - a man standing stock still in a suit painted bronze - who presented her with a rose and kissed her hand.

After meeting a group of female entrepreneurs running a bicycle repair business, she was accosted by an Australian tourist, Frank Buckley, 68, who addressed her breezily: “Good to see you! How are you enjoying it?”

He said afterwards: “She said she had not been here long. She looked to me a little but puffed. But she had no trouble walking up to me and shaking my hand.”

Her last stop was a children’s theatre group, La Colmenita, where she was greeted with a line-up of children in bee costumes. One managed to get a kiss off the duchess, who swiftly found herself giving a line a children a kiss.

Inside the auditorium of the Teatro de la Orden Tercera, she settled down to watch a girl singing the Beatles’ Let It Be. Or, possibly, Let It Bee, for by the second verse the girl’s demure solo had turned into a riotous performance, with little bees dancing energetically on the stage and throughout the auditorium.

By the time of their third number - El Cuarto de Tula, a Cuban song made famous by the Buena Vista Social Club - almost the whole of the audience was up and dancing, with just the royal party and a handful of people around them remaining in their seats.

The old town has retained many of its 18th-century colonial Spanish buildings, with their verandas, brightly-coloured frontages and internal courtyards, with many renovated in recent years.

Stray dogs wandered across the royal couple's path and, like Cuba's citizens who benefit from their country's renowned healthcare system, they have been vaccinated and their claws clipped.

The couple stopped by an elderly group of street musicians and, as a huge media scrum tried to capture the moment, Charles put a coin in their collection hat.

Later, Cuba's acclaimed ballet star Carlos Acosta will also welcome the couple to his dance company. The royals will watch two performances by members of Acosta's group of performers who have won worldwide acclaim since the dance company made its debut in 2016.

Acosta is artistic director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, which Charles supports as president, and was principal guest dancer for 17 years with the Royal Ballet. 

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall met tourists as they went on a guided walk in historic Old Havana today

The old town has retained many of its 18th-century colonial Spanish buildings, which Camilla has viewed today

A man shakes Camilla's hand as the royal couple visit a church during their tour of Old Havana in Cuba today

Diplomatic sources have described the royal couple's arrival in Cuba as a 'very special moment' for the UK

The Duchess of Cornwall greets wellwishers during a guided tour of Old Havana in Cuba today

Camilla carried a parasol to ward off the searing sun but Charles managed to keep cool in a shirt, tie and suit today

The Duchess of Cornwall receives a flower after being given a kiss on her hand during a guided tour of Old Havana today

There are no plans for the royal couple to meet Raul Castro, the brother of Cuba's former Communist leader Fidel Castro who died in 2016, but the prince and his wife will be guests at a dinner hosted by the country's president Miguel Diaz-Canel.

Charles met Cuba's president in November last year at his London home, Clarence House, when the foreign leader visited the UK with a delegation of senior ministers. 

Charles and Camilla join historian Eusebio Leal (centre) for a guided tour of Old Havana in Cuba today

He is a fan of the Beatles and while staying in the St John's Wood area of London during the trip, visited the famous zebra crossing that features on the group's Abbey Road album cover.

Cuba is famed for the boxing champions it has produced over the decades and Charles will visit the Rafael Trejo gym and meet fighters sparring in an open-air ring. 

Diplomatic sources described the couple's arrival as a 'very special moment' for the UK and said it came at an 'important time' for our bi-lateral relationship with Cuba.

'It will enable us to engage in a way we can develop our political dialogue with the Cubans, government to government,' they said.

They acknowledged that it came at a tricky time, particularly given President Trump's decision to row back from Barak Obama's tentative rapprochement with Cuba and support of the regime in Venezuela.

Trump has described the maligned President Nicolas Maduro as a 'Cuban puppet'. But the source said: 'We hope this visit will give us a stronger platform to do more in our priority areas of cooperation. 

'We also believe that by engaging in this more energetic way we can develop a better dialogue with Cubans both on agendas of cooperation in terms of projects, commercial opportunities and investment, but also in terms of our political dialogue. '

The source said the royal visit was being seen as a way for the British government to 'engage more energetically in Cuba'. 

Camilla's hand is held by a man with a book by Cuba's national hero, the revolutionary essayist and poet, Jose Marti

Prince Charles takes a look at the churros cooking while he undertakes a walking tour of Old Havana in Cuba today

Charles, who kept cool in a shirt, tie and suit during their walkabout, shakes hands with a well-wisher in Old Havana today

Charles and Camilla visit the Unesco World Heritage Site of Old Havana today, stopping along the way to visit businesses

Their Royal Highnesses arrive at El Templete in Old Havana today and are met by the city's official historian Eusebio Leal

The Duchess of Cornwall goes on a guided tour of Old Havana (left) and visits Hogar Materno Infantil maternity home (right)

The couple stopped by an elderly group of street musicians playing in Old Havana today

The couple began their tour in Arms Square, close to the site where the Spanish established the city on November 16, 1519

They said: 'We see this as a way of entering into dialogue with the government on issues that we agree on but also on issues that we differ. 

Countries of the world still awaiting a royal visit

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall became the first representatives of the British royal family to visit Cuba when their plane touched down in Havana.

Charles and Camilla's groundbreaking trip is likely to usher in a new chapter in the relationship between the UK and the Communist state once ruled by Fidel Castro.

The Queen is, unsurprisingly, the most well-travelled of the royal family, having paid official visits to more than 100 countries during her time on the throne. 

Her reign began on foreign soil after her father George VI died while she was staying in Kenya. There are a number of countries and territories which the Queen has not visited, including some former members of the Soviet Bloc.

In contrast, vast swathes of the South Pacific have been covered by royal visits from the Queen such as Nauru, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Fiji on board the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Royal visits to South America have been rare - possibly due to the reach of Britain's empire not extending beyond British Guiana and the Falkland Islands.

The Queen visited Brazil and Chile in 1968 and Guyana in 1994. Closer to home, and the changing face of Europe over the last 30 years has meant there are newer countries which have not been visited.

Albania and Belarus are still to be visited, while the Queen took in Belgrade, Dubrovnik, and Zagreb when it was part of Yugoslavia in 1974.

Many Commonwealth members have received the British head of state or a representative, but many other African countries have not, including Mali in the west and Djibouti in the east.

A number of Asian countries are also awaiting their first glimpse of British royalty, including North Korea.

'This is particularly important given recent developments in Venezuela. We are also very conscious of the human rights problems in Cuba itself. '

Referring to a potential clash with US President Donald Trump over the royal visit, the source said: 'We are very conscious that the UK and EU approach to relations with Cuba are fundamentally different in some ways to the US approach, even through we share a lot of the same values and concerns. 

'But the way the US is driving its policy on Cuba is not about engagement. Our general policy on Cuba is in contrast to, and is going in a different direction from, what the US is trying to do. It's no secret.

'[But] we are confident that we are doing the right thing and are very open about why we are doing it. Our very close relationship with the US enables us to have that dialogue and make clear what we are trying to achieve.'

Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK's director, said: 'While Charles and Camilla aren't formal representatives of the Government they obviously have influence, and if they can use their visit to Havana as an opportunity to raise human rights issues that would be most welcome.

'Despite some reforms in recent years, Cuba still locks up dissidents and human rights activists, places draconian restrictions on freedom of speech, and blocks people's access to the internet. If the opportunity arises, we'd really like to hear Charles and Camilla say something about the need for Cuba to allow its people greater freedom.'

Yesterday, after being welcomed at the airport, the prince and his wife started their visit by laying a wreath at the memorial for Cuba's national hero, the revolutionary essayist and poet, Jose Marti. 

British Ambassador to Cuba, Antony Stokes, said: 'As the British ambassador to Cuba it was an honour to accompany his royal highness in laying a wreath at the tomb of Jose Martí.

'This historic royal visit is about strengthening our bilateral relationship and looking for opportunities to work together on areas where we see mutual benefit.

'It also provides a great foundation for broadening dialogue in areas where we agree and also being able to have honest conversations in areas where we disagree.'

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