Prince Charles to use Texan's jet in US visit

AP News
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Posted: Apr 21, 2011 3:42 PM
Prince Charles to use Texan's jet in US visit

A Texan billionaire has given Prince Charles use of a private jet for his upcoming trip to the U.S., palace officials said Thursday.

The prince will travel to Washington for a May 3-5 visit featuring a meeting with President Barack Obama. It will come just days after the wedding of his son, Prince William, to Kate Middleton in London on April 29.

Charles' office said that given the current economic climate, it felt it was right to accept the offer for a private charter from Joe Allbritton, a close personal friend and supporter of the prince's charities with deep ties to Washington's elite.

It is thought to be the first time Charles _ who recently entered the record books for spending the longest time as heir apparent to the British throne _ has used an aircraft paid for by a private individual for an official visit.

The plane will carry Charles, four members of his household and a representative of his sustainability organization to Washington.

In addition to meeting with Obama, Charles will give a keynote speech at a conference on sustainable agriculture at Georgetown University.

It will be Charles' first visit to the U.S. since 2007 when he came with his wife, Camilla. This time, she will not be traveling with him, the palace said.

Charles has been next in line to the throne for 59 years, two months and 15 days and on Wednesday, he overtook King Edward VII for the longest wait. Edward had waited 59 years, two months and 13 days to succeed his mother, Queen Victoria.