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Charles and Camilla mark Independence Day in Athens

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The Prince of Wales has watched a military parade to mark Greek Independence Day in Athens after declaring a profound connection to the country.

Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall attended a ceremony at the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier at Syntagma Square where the heir to the throne laid a wreath and the UK national anthem was played.

The couple then observed the Independence Day Military Parade as part of the country’s Bicentenary celebrations, marking Greece’s uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1821.

The Prince of Wales lays a wreath at the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma Square, Athens / PA Wire

In previous years, thousands of people waving Greek flags have lined the main streets of central Athens to watch the March 25 parade.

But this year the route was much more muted due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the public encouraged to stay at home and watch the event on television amid a strict lockdown.

The parade featured Evzone guards – the elite light infantry units of the Greek army – in traditional uniforms.

The Evzones are known for their distinctive uniform which originates from the clothes worn by Greek irregulars who fought against the Ottomans during the Greek Revolution in the 1821-1827 period.

Evzone guards kicked off the parade on horseback – a sight said to be unfamiliar to Greek people and especially arranged for the bicentenary celebrations.

People watch from balconies of a building overlooking the Independence Day Military Parade in Syntagma Square / PA Wire

Soldiers on horseback wearing army uniforms from different periods of history paraded past followed by dozens of people in traditional Greek dress.

This was followed by a variety of military vehicles including tanks.

Charles and Camilla were joined by other officials including Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin to watch the parade, which was topped off with a flypast featuring the RAF Voyager.

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