Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall celebrate the Day of the Dead as their Mexico tour kicks off

by hellomagazine.com

Prince Charles and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall began a four-day trip to Mexico on Sunday, which was also the Day of the Dead – a colourful Mexican religious festival where people gather to pray for and remember friends and family who have died and visit their graves.

The royal couple spent the day in Pachuca and nearby Real del Monte, 60 miles north of Mexico City, an area nicknamed "Mexico's Little Cornwall" for its close ties to the West Country.

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They saw traditional altars made to mark the occasion known as "Olfrenda" and watch an Aztec dance performance.

The VIP visitors also laid a wreath at the memorial of a Mexican-British soldier who died in WWI, when they visited the town's English cemetery – home to nearly 300 tombs of Cornish miners and their descendants, some dating back to 1834.

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In 1825, miners from Cornwall sailed to Mexico to help revive the country's silver industry, settling in Real del Monte. 

As well as bringing mining expertise and 1,500 tonnes of equipment to revitalise the area, they also brought with them British culture, including football and their southwest English region's pasty dish, which still remains today.

The royal couple paid tribute to English influences by placing the first turf on a new football pitch and visiting the world's only pasty museum.

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Later they visited a local secondary school built close to where football was first played in Mexico.

The first day of their four-day visit ended with afternoon tea with locals at the pasty museum.

Pachuca now hosts international pasty, or "paste", festivals and houses an official Fifa football museum to recognise that the country's first club was founded there in 1901, once the Cornish had settled. The city's old clock tower even chimes like Big Ben.