‘Powerful’ Saudi female MPs impress Duchess

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THE Duchess of Cornwall has met some of the first ever Saudi Arabian female members of parliament.

Greeting them at the lavishly decorated Majlis Ash Shura yesterday, she said: “Beneath all those pretty smiles there are a lot of very powerful women here.”

Camilla was later joined by the Prince of Wales as they were given a tour of the gold encrusted parliament building in Riyadh.

Hanan Al Ahmadi, one of the female members, told the Duchess her visit was an endorsement of what they were doing. “We have been waiting for this for a very long time,” she said.

“It is an emotional and very proud moment for us and carries a great deal of responsibility.

“You coming here to meet us is an endorsement of what is happening here.”

The Duchess replied: “I am so impressed. You are all so clever and well-educated and are blazing such a trail.”

Earlier in the day Charles visited a military event, at the headquarters of the Saudi national guard, where he was given a guard of honour before meeting senior military figures.