Charles and Camilla roughing it in Norwegian woods

Camilla 1

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Queen Sonja of Norway, centre, visit Granebo Outdoor Nursery School on Wednesday in Oslo, Norway. (Getty Images)

No one said royal tours were glamourous. Or dry.

Charles axe1Prince Charles and Camilla learned what royal roughing-it is all about in Norway on Wednesday, the second day of their tour of Scandinavia.

It would have been smart, of course, for the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall to wear proper attire for this leg of the trip as they tramped through forests and across fjords. But they must keep up appearances, mustn't they? So the suit remained, even as Charles got a lesson in chopping wood (right).

And Camilla had little defence against the rain. While Norway's Queen Sonja braced herself against the elements with a sou'wester, Camilla hunkered under a transparent umbrella while wearing rain-unfriendly suede and cashmere.

"I wish I had my wet weather gear on," she lamented to one child she met at an outdoor nursery in Bergen, which coincidently is known as the city of rain.

The day's excursions were not a total washout. Camilla leaned how to whittle some wood and picked up on some campfire songs by the children.

Charles axeAside from wielding an axe, Charles the Prince went on board the M/V Brennholm to view some marine research aimed at encouraging sustainable fishing.

The couple then went to Hakonshallen, a medieval hall that Charles had first visited on a visit with the Queen in 1969.

The tour, part of Charles' Diamond Jubilee swing on behalf of his mother the Queen, continues through to Tuesday, making stops in Sweden and Denmark. It started in Oslo on Tuesday, where Charles and Camilla were the guests at a banquet at the Royal Palace.

Charles made all the right remarks diplomatically-speaking, and even got his share of laughs.

After acknowledging his "darling wife" on the tour, he expressed gratitude in the wake of his son Harry's visit there last spring.

"Thinking of the ties between our two countries, I cannot thank you enough for ensuring my younger son did not contract frostbite -- or lose any vital appendages -- while he was in Svalbard exactly a year ago, making a television programme about wounded British servicemen walking to the North Pole.

"You were also kind enough to deliver him back to us in time to perform his best man duties at my elder son's wedding."

Charles then recalled his first first visit to Norway in 1969 when he and his sister Princess Anne accompanied their parents on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

"It was then that I discovered three memorable and endearing things about the Norwegians," Charles said. "First of all, that virtually every house seemed to fly the Norwegian flag, secondly, that our anthems are exactly the same, and thirdly, that Norwegians tend to stay up all night during the summer."

It will be a busy year for Charles and Camilla for the Diamond Jubilee. Their next major tour will be in May when they visit Canada, hitting New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan.


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