The Slovenia Times

Royal Couples Touring Slovenia


President Pahor received the Earl and Countess of Wessex in the presidential palace accompanied by his partner Tanja Pečar.

The pair were later received by Mayor Janković, who welcomed them to the City Hall. Prince Edward and his spouse also signed the visitors book, the third member of the British royal family to do so.

Accompanied by the mayor and British Ambassador to Slovenia Andrew Page, the Earl and Countess of Wessex then took a tour of Ljubljana's old city centre in a "Cavalier", one of the electric buggies that offer free rides around old town to tourists and the elderly.

As part of the tour, the royal couple visited the Ljubljana City Museum to see the world's oldest ever discovered wooden wheel. The artefact dated 3,200 BC was found at an archaeological site some 20 kilometres south-west of Ljubljana.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex also stopped by at the British International School and then took a trip to the lakeside resort of Bled.

There they visited the Bled castle and met the drivers of the 20-Ghost Club, which held a reception as part of the Rolls-Royce Alpine Trial centenary celebration rally, dedicated to remembering the success of Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost cars in the 1913 Alpine Trial race.

Later in the afternoon, they returned to the capital, where they attended the reception organised every year by the British Embassy to celebrate the birthday of Prince Edward's mother Queen Elisabeth II.

In the evening, they are attended the opening concert of the Ljubljana Festival, together with President Pahor and Japanese Prince and Princess Akishino, who also began their visit to Slovenia today. Japanese. Prince and Princess Akishino began a three-day visit to Slovenia on Thursday by meeting host President Borut Pahor and Speaker of Parliament Janko Veber.

Pahor received the royal couple at Strmol Castle, some 20 kilometres outside of Ljubljana, with his partner Tanja Pečar.

The royal couple then travelled to Ljubljana for a meeting with Veber, who expressed his delight at the visit, which is marking last year's 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the countries.

The speaker congratulated diplomats in both countries for establishing and maintaining good bilateral relations.

He moreover expressed his conviction that Pahor's visit to Japan earlier this year had been a success and pointed out that a Slovenia-Japan friendship group exists in parliament, which is testimony to the interest of MPs for good relations.

He pointed out that Slovenia had been honoured in the past by visits of members of the Imperial Family. Prince Akishino agreed that ties have been long-standing.

The prince said that Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, who visited in 1976, as well as his younger sister Sayako, who was in Slovenia in 2000, had returned to Japan filled with pleasant impressions.

Veber highlighted Slovenia's wish to preserve its nature, culture and obtain new knowledge, which also connected it to countries like Japan with its advanced technology that presents a challenge to young researchers in Slovenia.

Prince Akishino took the opportunity to thank Slovenia for the words of encouragement expressed after the devastating earthquake which hit Japan in March 2011.

In the afternoon, the prince and princess were taken on a tour of Ljubljana by Pahor and Pečar, visiting old town sites such as the Prešeren Square, Triple Bridge and Robba's Fountain and meeting with a number of locals and tourists.

During the tour they also stopped at the Ljubljana Cathedral, where the visitors were greeted by Ljubljana Archbishop Anton Stres, before going to Ljubljana Castle to get a birds eye view of the city.

In the evening royal couple are due to attend the opening concert of the Ljubljana Festival in Congress Square in the company of visiting British Prince Edward and spouse Sophie as well as Pahor and Pečar.

On Friday, the prince and princess will visit the University of Ljubljana to meet the chancellor and students of Japanese studies, which will be followed by a visit of the world-famous Postojna Caves and a lace school in the mining town of Idrija.

The royal couple will be received by PM Alenka Bratušek on Saturday, the last day of the visit which is part of their European tour that featured previous stops in Croatia and Slovakia. Also on Saturday, they will visit the lakeside resort of Bled and plant a cherry tree there.


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