Prince Charles is doing this for the first time ahead of 70th birthday

Ahead of his 70th birthday celebrations in November, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are to tour Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria. On Thursday, Clarence House confirmed that the royal couple will begin their tour in The Gambia on 31 October to celebrate The Gambia's return into the Commonwealth in February this year. They will be welcomed to the country by the President of The Gambia, His Excellency Mr. Adama Barrow, at a ceremony in McCarthy Square in the Capital City of Banjul. This trip marks Prince Charles' first visit to The Gambia.

Scott Furssedonn-Wood, Charles' deputy private secretary, said the couple were visiting the three countries at the request of the British Government. He added: "Their Royal Highnesses' visit will celebrate the UK's historic ties with these three Commonwealth nations, and also our dynamic contemporary partnerships with each of them in areas ranging from business to the arts, defence co-operation to medical research." He continued: "The tour will also highlight the people-to-people links between our countries and the invaluable contribution they make to our shared prosperity and security."

Prince Charles and Camilla will be going on tour

During their tour, which will take place during the months of October and November, Charles and Camilla will visit the Medical Research Centre, which is a faculty of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The Prince will also visit the Gambian Armed Forces Training Centre, where troops are trained for their role with the United Nations - African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur. Meanwhile, Camilla will visit a school to meet young people aspiring to enter The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition, which is the world's oldest schools' international writing competition, managed by The Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883.

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On 2 November, the royal couple will start their visit to Ghana, which in 1957 became the first majority-ruled African country to join the Commonwealth. The royals will be welcomed at Jubilee House by President Nana Akufo-Addo and the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo. Other key events in the programme in Accra will include a State Banquet celebrating the ties between the UK and Ghana, attended by senior dignitaries in Ghana and prominent members of the British Ghanaian Diaspora as well as key figures from business, arts, culture and media.

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Then four days later, Prince Charles and Camilla will arrive in Abuja, Nigeria where they will be welcomed by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa. During their visit here, Their Royal Highnesses will undertake a series of engagements in Abuja and Lagos where they will have the opportunity to interact with a cross-section of Nigerians from Traditional Leaders to those in business, the arts, fashion, the armed forces and the charitable sector.

Over the course of the tour, the royals will take part in commemorative events to acknowledge the sacrifice made by Gambian, Ghanaian and Nigerian soldiers during the First and Second World Wars, and in more recent times during international peacekeeping missions.

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