King Charles appeared relaxed as he went for a walk today in Transylvania, during his private solo trip to Romania.

It is believed the royal, 74, will stay in the country for five days during the visit, which marks his first one overseas since the coronation last month.

And while the monarch is taking a break from official engagements in the UK, he marked the first day of his trip with a formal bilateral meeting earlier this week.

Charles met with Romania's President Klaus Iohannis in the capital Bucharest on Thursday, followed by a reception, during which he gave a speech praising the country for culture, art, heritage, history, sweeping landscapes and its biodiversity.

Following the official business, the king was snapped looked more informal today, as he walked in the village of Valea Zalanului, Szeklerland in Transylvania, where he owns a private estate.

King Charles bought the estate in the village, which is some 250km north of Bucharest, in the late 90s, and has visited regularly since.

Wearing a short sleeved blue shirt and pale beige slacks, the king carried a stick during his walk today.

Looking casual, he wore a pair of sunglasses to protect his eyes against the glare of the bright sun, and he had a pair of binoculars slung around his neck.

During the hike, Charles was accompanied by a group, and was seen talking with them, while he gestured animatedly with his hands.

The monarch arrived at the estate yesterday, and was greeted by locals, who presented him with flowers.

He was pictured smiling as he shook hands with members of the public outside the gates of the estate.   

The king has several ties with Romania. 

His maternal great-great-great-grandmother Klaudia Rhedey was born and raised in the Transylvania region.

Since his first visit to Romania 25 years ago, he has developed a close relationship with the country.

In 2015 he established the Prince of Wales' Foundation Romania, which offers heritage preservation training courses to both local people and international apprentices.

And last year, he travelled to Bucharest to tour a donation centre for Ukrainian refugees and chatted to those who had fled the Russian invasion of their homeland.

He owns a number of properties in Romania's Transylvania region, including a holiday let – which helps fund his foundation – and a 17th century peasant's house, which acts as the foundation's headquarters, both in the village of Viscri.

During his speech on Thursday, the king spoke openly of his admiration for the country and its people.

He said: 'As I have said before, I have come to love Romania – your culture and art, your heritage and history, your sweeping landscapes and priceless biodiversity, this 'tara de gloria, tara de dor' (country of glory, country of longing), if I may paraphrase your national poet, Mihai Eminescu.

'Romania has retained, in its ancient forests, pristine countryside, and through some remarkable examples of sustainable farming, an incomparable richness of nature. 

'But most of all, I cherish my Romanian friends here. 

'I am enormously grateful to many people in this audience for their kind help on so many occasions, and for their support for projects which are doing so much good in communities throughout the country.'

Read more

2023-06-03T16:41:26Z dg43tfdfdgfd