The feat of building the Great Pyramid of Giza should inspire humanity to reconnect with the wisdom of past civilisations who valued the natural world, the Prince of Wales has suggested.
With the three floodlight pyramids at Giza as a backdrop, Charles gave an evening speech to leading political and business figures, telling them: “Gathering by this wonder of the ancient world, we are reminded of miraculous feats.”
Speaking after a guided tour of the three pyramids, he added: “It defies the imagination to consider how your ancestors with rudimentary tools were able to construct such massive and magnificent edifices and align them almost perfectly north to south.
“The fact that they could do this reminds us how profoundly they understood the sacred geometry of nature. The fact that they did do this reminds us that they understood this knowledge was essential to life and death.
“Like our rather more modest ancient stone circles in England, the pyramids remind us of a connection to our planet that we have over time forgotten.”
The Great Pyramid, which was created by hand more than 4,000 years ago, before sophisticated engineering skills had been developed, has inspired Charles to believe humanity can tackle the environmental problems facing the planet.
As the sun set, the couple posed before another instantly recognisable landmark nearby, the Sphinx, which has mesmerised visitors to Egypt for centuries with its body of a lion and a man’s head.
Earlier, the couple were welcomed to the Middle East country by its president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and the first lady, Entissar Amer, and the prince held talks with the Egyptian leader while Camilla sat down with the head of state’s wife.
With Egypt due to take over the presidency of the next UN climate change conference – Cop27 – it is likely environmental issues were part of the discussions.
In his speech, Charles added: “As incoming and outgoing presidents of the UN climate summit, Cop, I hope it is now apparent that we have to be the custodians of a truth our ancestors understood so well; that we are part of the natural world, not separate from it, and it is our duty to do all in our power to protect nature, rather than testing her to literal destruction – which is what we are doing at present.”
Charles highlighted speeches he made at the opening ceremony for Cop26 hosted by Glasgow and to the G20 nations a few days before.
He said: “Well, my recent message, for what it’s worth, to G20 Leaders in Rome, and then to Cop26, underscored the real, global emergency of Climate Change and biodiversity loss, leavened with optimism that we now have the technical, scientific and engineering abilities drawing on the lessons that nature teaches us, to restore the vital balance between nature, people and the planet.
“Making that theory a reality, as I have been trying to say for many years, requires a grand partnership between the private sector, governments and civil society.”
During the reception, Camilla spent five minutes speaking with Sir Magdi Yacoub, the heart surgeon who reportedly trained doctor Hasnat Khan, the lover of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Sir Magdi said about the royal couple: “So special they are here and can see such wonder. The royal family have always been such friends with the Egyptian people and they open their hearts to them.”
Camilla told the 86-year-old it had been a “real privilege” to view the pyramids and Sphinx during their tour of the ancient site during the day.