Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, are in South Africa on a five-day visit.

The trip focuses on trade and conservation _ but they started Thursday with history.

The couple visited Soweto's Freedom Square, the spot where in 1955 South Africans of all races gathered to adopt the Freedom Charter. The charter proclaims: "South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white."

Racist white rule, however, would not end until more than four decades later.

The royals' itinerary includes a visit to an eastern game park that is home to endangered black rhinos, and a speech by the prince in Cape Town on environmental issues. The prince recently became president of the World Wildlife Fund UK.