By Reuters King Charles has sprung a surprise by opting for a tie amid a row between England and Greece

By Reuters King Charles has sprung a surprise by opting for a tie amid a row between England and Greece
© Reuters. King Charles speaks at COP28 in Dubai 12/1/2023 COP28/Christophe Viseux/Reveal by Reuters

DUBAI (Reuters) – Britain’s King Charles wore a tie with the colors and symbols of the Greek national flag at a climate conference on Friday, days after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak boycotted his fellow Greek, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, over the Parthenon sculptures.

Charles, who wore a tie when he met Sunak backstage at COP28 in the United Arab Emirates, has Greek heritage through his father, the late Prince Philip, who was born on the Greek island of Corfu.

Sunak deepened a diplomatic row with Athens by accusing Mitsotakis of being “arrogant” during a recent trip to London over ownership of the Parthenon sculptures. Sunak canceled a scheduled meeting with Mitsotakis earlier in the week.

A Buckingham Palace source said on Friday that Charles also wore the tie last week, before the controversy escalated. A spokesman for Sunak declined to comment.

British media reported that in addition to his blue and white tie, which featured the same white cross design as the Greek flag, Charles wore a blue and white handkerchief in his jacket pocket.

“A week after Rishi Sunak canceled a meeting with the Greek Prime Minister to take a stand on #parthenonmarbles #Elginmarbles… King Charles looks to be wearing a very interesting tie when he meets Mr Sunak in Dubai today.” Chris Shipp, ITV’s royal affairs editor, said on social media site X.

Athens has long called on the British Museum to permanently return the 2,500-year-old sculptures removed from the Parthenon in 1806 by British ambassador Lord Elkin. Property of the museum..

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(Additional reporting by Alistair Smout and Michael Holden)

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