Prince Charles headed to U.S. after wedding

LONDON Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:55pm EDT

Prince Charles, his wife Camilla (C), Duchess of Cornwall, and Spain's Queen Sofia (R) share a laugh before a private lunch at Zarzuela palace in Madrid March 31, 2011. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

Prince Charles, his wife Camilla (C), Duchess of Cornwall, and Spain's Queen Sofia (R) share a laugh before a private lunch at Zarzuela palace in Madrid March 31, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Andrea Comas

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LONDON (Reuters) - Prince Charles will unwind after the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton by jetting off to Washington to meet U.S. President Barack Obama and give a speech, his aides said on Thursday.

The heir to the throne will fly out to the United States for the two-day trip on May 3, just four days after the world's eyes will be focussed on the marriage of his elder son in London.

During the trip, he will visit the White House to meet Obama, who has not been included on the guest list for the wedding as it is not classified as a full state occasion.

Obama is due to make an official state visit to Britain at the end of May.

Charles will also give a speech at Washington's Georgetown University on international sustainability, links between the British and U.S. armed forces and the welfare of injured servicemen, and education.

"Needless to say, our friendship with the United States is one of the most important of Great Britain's international relationships," said the prince's communications secretary Paddy Harverson.

In a break with tradition, Charles will travel on a private jet owned and offered for his use by Texan businessman Joe Allbritton.

Harverson said it was believed to be the first time a member of the royal family had accepted private transport for an official visit but in the current frugal economic climate the government deemed the decision to be appropriate.

(Reporting by Nia Williams; Editing by Paul Casciato)

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