Royal couple visits Philly church before trip to NYC

Monday, January 29, 2007

PHILADELPHIA -- Prince Charles and his wife Camilla waved to adoring fans Sunday as they walked to a private church service before they were to depart for New York and continue their whirlwind American weekend.

On an overcast and chilly day, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall strolled about a block from their downtown hotel to the Arch Street Presbyterian Church. An overflow crowd awaited them, cheering their arrival and craning to catch a glimpse of the royal couple.

Afterward, the entourage was to board a private train for New York City. Traveling guests were to include academics and policy makers who will speak to the couple about urban revitalization, one of the themes of their three-day trip.

The train is owned by Bennett Levin, president of the railroad car restoration firm Juniata Terminal Co. The carriage in which the royal couple were to ride has carried several U.S. presidents, Frank Sinatra, British royalty and the body of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy after his assassination.

Once in New York, Prince Charles and Camilla planned to visit Harlem Children's Zone, which runs the Promise Academy charter school and a range of social service, health and educational programs. The prince and duchess were to meet with schoolchildren and their families and observe a math carnival, basketball practice and rehearsal for Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

On Sunday evening, Prince Charles was to receive an award from Harvard Medical School's Center for Health and the Global Environment. He was to give a speech on environmental issues and receive the award from last year's recipient, former Vice President Al Gore.

The couple has been to New York once before, in November 2005, when they visited ground zero.

It was their first trip to Philadelphia, and they saw quite a cross-section of the city by mixing historic sightseeing with an inner-city art tour and a white-tie gala downtown.

They visited the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, met with inner-city mural artists and international students and took in the 150th anniversary gala at the Academy of Music.

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