Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrived Tuesday in the tiny island nation of Bahrain and met with its king and crown prince as part of their three-nation Gulf tour.
An honor guard and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa greeted the royal pair at Sakhir Air Base. From there, they saw Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa at a nearby palace.
But while British and Bahraini flags flew along their route at sunset, nearby police vehicles with windows covered in chicken wire betrayed the low-level unrest that has been gripping the island for years.
Activists have criticized Bahrain's rulers for a recent crackdown on dissent at a level unseen since the 2011 Arab Spring. Activists have been forced into exile, while others have been stripped of their citizenship. The country's largest Shi’ite opposition group has been shut down by the Sunni-led government.
The royal couple did not address Prince Harry's condemnation of the media on Tuesday for subjecting his girlfriend Meghan Markle to “a wave of abuse and harassment” in a highly unusual letter from a British royal.
Prince Charles and Camilla already have visited Oman and the United Arab Emirates on their three-nation tour of the Gulf. While in the UAE on Tuesday, the two visited Dubai's International Humanitarian City, while Prince Charles saw Dubai's site for hosting the coming 2020 World Expo, or world's fair.
The couple's week-long trip ends Friday.