Prince Charles, Camilla having busy last day in DC

AP News
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Posted: Mar 19, 2015 5:50 PM
Prince Charles, Camilla having busy last day in DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prince Charles and his wife finished up their visit to Washington with a whirlwind day that included meeting with President Barack Obama.

The royal couple arrived Tuesday and stopped at some of the most iconic and historically important sites in the nation's capital.

Here's a rundown of their busy Thursday.

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Adult immigrant students at the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School in northwest Washington got some surprise comic relief when Prince Charles stopped by.

As he walked into Karina Samuel's beginner classroom, he jokingly apologized, "I'm sorry I've come to ruin your session."

He visited with the students, asking them if they were learning a lot and how long they've been in the U.S.

The smiling prince made the students laugh several times by asking whether their teacher is good and telling one group: "English not easy" and "Lots of practice."

In another classroom for intermediate life skills, such as opening checking accounts, the prince commented that the lessons sounded "complicated." He got an even bigger laugh when he asked everyone, "Are you getting better and better with credit cards?"

As he walked out of the school, he said to a lobby packed with smiling students and teachers, "Now you can all have your lunch."

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Prince Charles and Camilla were equally chatty during their visit to the U.S. Armed Forces Retirement Home, a sprawling campus that overlooks downtown Washington. About 450 veterans live there, including 150 from WWII.

Navy veteran Michael Martinez, 72, who served in Vietnam and showed the royal couple three of his acrylic paintings, said he was excited to meet the royals for the first time.

"We almost consider them our royal family too because we don't have one," Martinez said.

He showed Charles and Camilla his painting of Ship Rock, New Mexico and told them it is taller than the Empire State Building.

Charles, who paints with watercolors, admired the paintings and told Martinez, "Extraordinary landscapes in the United States."

The couple also stopped in the home's woodshop, where Navy veteran Ivan Saucier showed them the bed he is building for his living quarters.

Camilla asked Saucier if he had seen the world with the Navy over 22 years.

"I've never been to England," he said.

"You've never been to England?" Camilla replied. "You'll have to do the swap" and go to London, she said.

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At the retirement home, Prince Charles tried his hand at bowling. With Camilla looking on, along with a gaggle of residents and photographers, he knocked down two pins.

Still, he earned enthusiastic cheers.

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It's Prince Charles' 20th visit to the U.S.