Prince Charles is currently taking a tour of the Middle East, most recently stopping in Saudi Arabia.
On Tuesday, while in the city of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, Prince Charles wore traditional dress and joined members of the royal family of Saudi Arabia in the Ardah. The Ardah, commonly known as the sword dance, was performed as part of the 17-day Janadriya culture festival at Der’iya.
The Ardah is commonly performed at weddings and other events. Hundreds of Saudi Arabian men and boys get in formation and dance and sing with swords in hand.
Prince Charles’ host, Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, was named Second Deputy Prime Minister last year by King Abdullah. Abdulaziz was also the former head of the Saudi intelligence service.
While some people liked that Prince Charles performed the sword dance with members of the Saudi royal family…
Nice to See Prince charles dance "Al-Ardah" with the saudi royal Family
— Algerian Relief (@AlgerianRelief) February 19, 2014
…many disapproved of his actions.
Does Prince Charles know they behead women for the crime of "witchcraft + sorcery" with such swords in Saudi Arabia? pic.twitter.com/STWDYD1r2x
— Julie (@MsIntervention) February 19, 2014
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) February 18, 2014
Prince Charles's sword dance. Yes, they like swords in Saudi Arabia. Including for public executions … http://t.co/b2lXFm1DRT
— AmnestyUK Media Team (@NewsFromAmnesty) February 19, 2014
These photos and videos of Prince Charles participating in the sword dance has many human rights groups, most notably Amnesty International, wanting him to discuss the abuse of human rights during meetings with key officials. One human rights group said Prince Charles “should be under no illusions that outside of the palatial royal residences of Riyadh and Doha, the human rights situation in both countries is desperately bad.”
Prince Charles’ trip of the Middle East will continue to Qatar.
Image via YouTube.