Prince Charles mixes sport with culture during Berlin visit

Prince Charles mixes sport with culture during Berlin visitBerlin - Britain's Prince Charles watched a football match between different religious groups at the start of a two-day visit to the German capital on Wednesday.

The heir to the British throne was accompanied by his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, when he attended the game in Berlin's multicultural district of Kreuzberg.

Hundreds of schoolchildren waving homemade British and Turkish flags welcomed the royal couple as they arrived at the stadium where an integration project "Strength without Violence" was also held.

Among the stands was an "intercultural garden," which drew a lot of interest from the prince, a keen gardner and health food fan.

Charles and Camilla arrived in Berlin from Italy where they had a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican and also visited Venice and its famous La Fenice opera house.

The royal couple was welcomed by German President Horst Koehler and his wife, Eva Luise, who hosted a luncheon for them at the head of state's official residence Bellevue.

Koehler praised Charles for his efforts to save the environment for future generations and promote integration between people of difference races and cultures.

The prince and Camilla were originally due to have taken a stroll around the landmark Brandenburg Gate, but this was cancelled for security reasons.

Tourists nevertheless had a chance to catch a glimpse of the royal couple when they visited the nearby British embassy to attend a seminar on the integration of socially disadvantaged young people.

The prince and his wife, who was dressed in a silver grey coat dress, waved to the crowd as they entered the building. Camilla stopped to shake hands with some of the well-wishers, one of whom presented her with a bunch of flowers.

In the evening the prince was due to receive an award for his environmental work at a ceremony in the capital's German Historical Museum.

On Wednesday, the royal couple planned to tour some of the city's other famous museums and visit the Institute of Climate Research in the nearby town of Potsdam. (dpa)