REAL DEL MONTE, Mexico (AFP) – Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla began a four-day trip to Mexico on Sunday, visiting a cemetery of English migrants on the Latin American nation’s Day of the Dead.
After a five-day tour of Colombia, the royal couple landed in Mexico City and immediately headed to the mountain town of Real del Monte in the central state of Hidalgo.
Hundreds of people lined the cobblestone streets, waving the Union Jack as the couple toured the town considered the birthplace of British-Mexican relations.
In 1825, miners from Cornwall sailed to Mexico to help revive the country’s silver industry, settling in Real del Monte and bringing football and their southwest English region’s pasty dish with them.
Charles and Camilla, who are also the duke and duchess of Cornwall, visited the town’s English cemetrey, home to nearly 300 tombs of Cornish miners and their descendants, some dating back to 1834.
They lay a small wreath at a monument for John Vial, the only Mexican-Briton known to have fought in World War I. He died at the Battle of the Somme at age 22.
Their visit coincided with Mexico’s Day of the Dead, a two-day celebration in which people visit cemeteries to honour their fallen relatives, bringing flowers and their favourite foods in a centuries-old tradition mixing pre-Hispanic and Catholic beliefs.