The Prince of Wales is flying ‘five or six dozen bottles’ of Holy water taken from the River Jordan back to the UK for royal baptisms – which could include that of Lilibet, the grand-daughter he has never met.
The heir to the throne, 73 and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, 74, were earlier today afforded the honour of dipping their fingers in the water where Jesus was baptised as they embarked on a whirlwind visit of the Middle East.
Now it can be revealed that Charles will be taking home with him on the return flight later this week a consignment of vials full of water to be used for future royal christenings.
It has been revealed the Prince of Wales, 73, is to bring back ‘five or six dozen bottles’ of Holy Water from the River Jordan for future royal baptism after his whirlwind trip to the Middle East with the Duchess of Cornwall, 74 (pictured near the River Jordan on the first day of their trip to Jordan today)
Prince Charles, who donned a smart grey suit, bent down and dipped his fingers in the holy river Jordan
Royal babies are always, by tradition, welcomed into the church with water taken from the spot where Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist using the ornate silver gilt Lily Font, part of the Crown Jewels.
But for the Prince of Wales to bring the water back himself is really very unique.
Asked about members of the Royal Family being baptised with water from such a revered Christian site, the Director General of the Baptism Site, Rustom Mkhjian, told the Daily Mail: ‘You are absolutely right. This time the Embassy people asked for a few dozens [bottles] of Holy water and we provided them with five dozen, six dozen, prior to this trip.
He said he was not aware exactly who they would be used for, explaining: ‘I didn’t know, I didn’t want to ask. But they said we wanted it for children to be baptised later on. Future baptisms, yes.’
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall today dipped their fingers in water from the holy River Jordan which is used to baptise royal babies
Then they bent down and each dipped their fingers in (pictured) before walking carefully back up the path to sign a visitor’s book
Other children set to be christened are Princess Beatrice’s new daughter, Sienna Elizabeth.
Although her older brother, Archie, was baptised in a secret ceremony at Windsor Castle with water from the River Jordan, it is not known when or where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new daughter will be christened.
In October a spokesman for Harry and Meghan said nothing had been finalised, despite speculation that they could return to the UK for it and introduce Lilibet to her family for the first time.
Mr Mkhjian said the water would last indefinitely, adding proudly: ‘It is pure water blessed from the spot where Jesus was baptised. It is holy and blessed from this particular spot in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.’
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are welcomed by King Abdullah II, Queen Rania Al-Abdullah and Crown Prince Hussein at the Al Husseiniya Palace in Amman, Jordan, on the first day of their tour of the Middle East
This evening, Camilla changed into an elegant white dress to attend a dinner at the Al Husseiniya Palace in Amman with Queen Rania, right
A senior royal aide confirmed that the water had been collected and would be flown back to the UK on the royal flight.
Charles and Camilla’s trip to Jordan and, later this week, Egypt is the first full scale official tour for a member of the Royal Family for almost two years because of the Covid pandemic.
The couple flew into Amman, the Jordanian capital, on the UK government’s official RAF Voyager plane which was, for the first time, using ‘green’ sustainable aviation fuel made from extracting waste oils from crops, cooking, forestry and paper manufacturing and mixing it with kerosene.
It can cut a plane’s carbon emissions by as much as 70 to 80 per cent over its life cycle.
Queen Rania looked stylish in a cream kaftan dress bedazzled with gems on the sleeves and the belt
The elegant Queen of Jordan, who was sporting a glamourous look, led the Duchess of Conrwall inside the palace
The Duchess of Cornwall wore a very elegant cream floor-length dress with long sleeves, which she paired with a silver clutch
The Prince of Wales looked sharp in a black suit, crisp white shirt and a pink tie and pocket square, as he was greeted by King Abdullah II ahead of a dinner
Camilla beamed as she made her way to the glamourous dinner. She held her dress, revealing a pair of golden heels
One of the highlights was their visit to the UNESCO-protected baptism site, which has been authenticated by all major Christian Church leaders as one of the three holiest sites of Christianity, along with Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
The Jordanian people have taken great pride in the careful excavation of the area, leaving much of the site as it would have been in the time of Christ, and the couple were driven to and from it in electric-powered golf buggies.
The prince also took part in an interfaith meeting about religious tolerance and the environment and was asked by faith leaders to convey their prayers to the Queen.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were all smiles as they arrived at the Al Husseiniya Palace in Amman, Jordan
Queen Rania and Camilla later visited the Queen Rania Family and Children Centre in Amman
The prince and his wife walked gingerly down some well-worn steps and a steep, pebbly path to the water, where they stood for a few moments in quiet reflection (pictured)
Camilla then followed, before the royal couple paused and took a moment to reflect
The Duchess of Cornwall was seen bending down and dipping her fingers in water from the holy River Jordan which is used to baptise royal babies
Glamour was provided in the form of the legendary beauty, Queen Rania of Jordan, who along with her husband, King Abdullah II, greeted Charles and Camilla at the Al Husseiniya Palace.
Queen Rania, 51, cut a striking figure in a white dress coat with gold belt and matching bag, while Camilla, 74, was in a blue Fiona Clare dress.
Later she took the wheel of an electric Tesla to drive the duchess to visit a children’s centre that has helped hundreds of youngsters from Jordanian, Palestinian and Syrian backgrounds, and hundreds of refugees, with holistic therapies to combat the stress of gender based violence.
In the evening, Camilla and Charles performed an outfit change and looked an elegant pair as they attended a state dinner in their honour at Husseiniya Palace in Amma.
Charles and Camilla’s tour has taken place at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth to strengthen bi-lateral ties and highlight climate change crisis concerns.
Both now in their early 70s, they will pack in more than 30 engagements between them over the coming days.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall leave the site where Christians believe Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist, on the Jordan River
The Prince of Wales signs the guest book as his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, looks on (pictured)
The royal visitors were given a guided tour of the area (pictured) and were even offered the opportunity to sit in John the Baptist’s cave for a few moments quietly together
Prince Charles signed the guest book as he and Camilla visited the baptism site of al-Maghtas
The royal couple (pictured) held hands as they walked down the steps and towards the riverbed
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visiting the baptism site of al-Maghtas, where Jesus is believed by Christians to have been baptised by John the Baptist, on the Jordan river
Charles and Camilla flew by helicopter to one of the most important religious sites in Jordan and were given the great honour of walking down to the riverbed where it is believed Jesus Christ was baptised (pictured)