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Charles 'not invited to Olympics'

January 31, 2008

The Press Association
January 30, 2008

The Prince of Wales has not been invited to attend the Olympic Games in
Beijing, a spokeswoman has said.

The Free Tibet campaign group said on Sunday it had written to the
Prince urging him not to attend the games.

A Clarence House spokeswoman said: "There are currently no plans for the
Prince of Wales to attend the Olympics. He has not been invited to attend."

Charles has gone to just one other Olympics, when his sister the
Princess Royal competed at Montreal in 1976.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman could not confirm if Princess Anne, one
of Britain's three members of the International Olympic Committee, would
be attending the Beijing games but said she had gone to the two previous
Olympics.

Free Tibet, which campaigns against human rights abuses in the Chinese
province, received a letter from Charles's deputy private secretary,
Clive Alderton, confirming the Prince would not attend the opening ceremony.

He wrote: "As you know, His Royal Highness has long taken a close
interest in Tibet and indeed has been pleased to meet His Holiness the
Dalai Lama on several occasions.

"You asked if the Prince of Wales would be attending the opening
ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. His Royal Highness will not be
attending the ceremony."

A spokesman for Free Tibet said: "We welcome the fact that the Prince of
Wales will not be endorsing China's ongoing human rights abuses in Tibet
by attending the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and we are
calling on other high-profile public figures and politicians to follow
suit."
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