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Charles and Camilla tour Africa

November 14, 2011 | By Chris Jackson | News
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall greets school children as she arrives at State House on Nov. 7, 2011, in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

I have just returned from a hectic, whistle-stop Autumn tour of South Africa and Tanzania with Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

Starting in Johannesburg, South Africa, and culminating on the green slopes of Kilmanjaro, Tanzania, the trip was incredibly visual, hot, hectic and enjoyable. And it really showed me that this royal couple knows how to have fun.

I have been on about 15 tours with the Duchess and the Prince and the relatively small number of journalists and photographers on this trip really allowed for flexibility and intimacy in the way in which I was able to work – something that always results in better pictures. I had been looking forward to this tour for a while; whilst the emphasis over the past few months has been strongly on Prince William and his glamorous young wife, Catherine, this tour was an opportunity for the spotlight to be once again on some of the more senior members of the Royal Family.

From past experience, I knew that a trip that took us to some more remote areas of the world would result in much more fluid, unexpected and exciting photos than the fairly sterile and formulaic military events we often experience.

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall wears a traditional Zulu headress as she visits the township of Soweto on Nov. 3, 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The evening before the tour started it was announced we would begin the trip with an unscheduled visit to the iconic Black township of Soweto in Johannesburg. As the Royal Couple arrived blinking into the bright African sunshine, a vibrant reception of Zulu dancers swayed and sang to welcome them. In the course of visiting some of the local stallholders over the next hour, Camilla, game as always, tried on one of the traditional Zulu headdresses she was presented with. It made a fantastic picture — and the fun image of the 64-year-old Duchess graced the pages of nearly every paper the next day in the UK. We were off to a good start.

Duchess Camilla and Prince Charles in Stone Town Old Fort on Nov. 8, 2011, in Zanzibar, Tanzania. (Photo by Chris Jackson – Pool/Getty Images)

Having last been to Zanzibar more than 12 years ago, I was excited about returning to this beautiful island off Tanzania in the Indian Ocean. The blending of African and Arabic peoples makes for a fascinating mix of architecture and culture. We were on the penultimate leg of the trip and everything had been going incredibly well. The Duchess had, before lunch, done some tourist shopping and got a henna tattoo in Stone Town Old Fort.

Prince Charles dances in Stone Town Old Fort on Nov. 8, 2011 in Zanzibar, Tanzania. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Charles was also in an incredibly buoyant mood and the Royal Couple ended up taking part in a traditional Chapauringe dance which was swiftly followed by a some coconut tasting – not your average royal events (but some great opportunities for photos!).


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More than 500 Maasai gathered to greet Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Walesas in Majengo Maasai Boma on Nov. 9, 2011, in Arusha, Tanzania. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)


Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Visiting the Maasai Boma in Arusha just near the base of Kilimanjaro was an experience I will never forget. The women and the men separated, and, each with their distinctive style of dancing, kicked up the dust in a frenzy of bouncing and chanting.



Getty Images photographer Chris Jackson takes a break from photographing the Royals.


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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is presented with a traditional Maasai necklace as Prince Charles, Prince of Wales looks on. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

More than 500 had gathered in the Boma (traditional homestead) to greet the Royals. The Royal Couple arrived into the hubbub of dancing and chanting and the Maasai presented them with gifts: a large Maasai necklace for the Duchess and a stool and traditional stick for the Prince. The Duchess was really getting into the swing of things by this stage and had the beaded ring fastened around her neck by a local woman. Another really great day on what had been a fantastic tour.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles Visit Tanzania - Day 4

Prince Charles looks through binoculars beside Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and the Honary Consul in Arusha Richard Beatty in Arusha National Park on Nov. 9, 2011, in Arusha, Tanzania. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

I ended my trip on the slopes of mount Meru in Arusha National Park. In the distance, Kilimanjaro provided the backdrop for the Royal Couple’s final short walk in the bush where Honary Consul in Arusha Richard Beatty guided them to a spectacular waterfall. As the pool photographer, this was a relaxed opportunity to capture some great pictures in this unique environment – whilst trying not to scare the animals the Prince was trying to spot though his binoculars!

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, snaps a photograph in Tanzania. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

It wasn’t only myself who was enjoying the incredible visual experience Africa offers. Whilst in the bush in Arusha on our last day the Duchess also decided to take a few snaps, even taking a shot of me photographing her, photographing me, if you see what I mean! Check out the British Monarchy’s flickr site to see….

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  • Darren Stewart


    Some very interesting images. Pity about the Canon cameras though ;-). Am a Nikon man myself.

    best regards