Prince Charles praises ‘amazing’ COP26 conference as he retraces Jesus’ footsteps in Jordan

The Prince of Wales has said the “amazing” COP26 conference produced “quite a lot of success” as he retraced Jesus Christ’s footsteps in Jordan.

Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have been on a walking tour of Umm Qais, the site of the ancient city of Gadara, which dates back to the 3rd century BC.

The city is a major tourist attraction for Jordan and said to be the place where Jesus carried out the “miracle of the Gadarene swine” – freeing a man “possessed by the devil” by casting his demons into pigs, according to the apostle Mark.

Perched on an imposing hilltop, the ancient settlement allowed the couple to view the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee.

They were joined by Jordan’s Princess Dana Firas, a global advocate for heritage protection, who quizzed the prince about COP26, which some commentators believe did not go far enough in attempting to tackle rising global temperatures.

When the princess asked about the UN climate change conference Charles attended in Glasgow, he replied it was: “Amazing. Quite a lot of success, I think.”

The prince gave one of the opening addresses at the environmental summit held earlier in November and has been urging world leaders to take action to avert the worst effects of rising global temperatures.

During their walking tour, the couple posed for a picture in Umm Qais with its impressive colonnaded street in the background and also saw the settlement’s surviving vaulted terrace, and the ruins of two theatres.

At one point the prince commented on the autumn sunshine, saying “it’s very hot”, as he and the duchess, both keen walkers, strode through the ruins.

Princess Dana highlighted the Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine and early Muslim history of the site, and during the visit Charles planted a tree to symbolise the UK-Jordanian partnership and in celebration of the centenary anniversary of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The prince and duchess have also been given vials of water from the River Jordan where Jesus is said to have been baptised.

Royal babies are traditionally christened with water from the river – meaning it could be used when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s daughter is baptised.

Charles and Camilla arrived in Jordan on Tuesday for the four-day visit, becoming the first members of the Royal Family to carry out a major overseas tour since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

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