Has Prince Charles found his true spiritual home on a Greek rock?
Visits spark claims of royal’s commitment to Orthodoxy
Helena Smith in Athens
Wednesday 12 May 2004 11.02 BST
On Monday night a resplendent yacht docked at the watery entrance to the world’s only monastic republic. A middle-aged man, followed by two bodyguards, stepped on to the jetty of the peninsula in northern Greece and into the “state” known variously as Mount Athos, Aghio Oros and the Holy Mount.
A few monks in black robes and pillar-box hats stood waiting, but, under orders to keep the identity of this particular pilgrim secret, it was a reception without fanfare. Their guest – clean-shaven in contrast to the bearded clerics – was Prince Charles, on his third clandestine retreat to Athos in the past 12 months.