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The Duchess and Prince Charles met glamorous Queen Rania Al-Abdullah

The duchess and Prince Charles met glamorous Queen Rania Al-Abdullah as they began a ten-day tour of the Middle East, which will also take in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman.

Mother-of-four Queen Rania, who has been ranked the most beautiful consort in the world by Harper’s Bazaar magazine, chatted with Camilla about the cold British weather.

Prince Charles, meanwhile, was busy regaling King Abdullah II about the time he rode a camel on a visit to the region nine years ago – and came a cropper.

But later, the prince got a reassuring taste of home as he was shown a clip of a new 3D feature film about none other than Postman Pat, who is popular with children in Jordan.

He was even presented with an eight-inch high model of himself posing alongside Postman Pat and his cat Jess – which appeared to tickle him enormously.

With her tumbling brunette curls, slim frame and sculpted cheekbones, Queen Rania bears an uncanny resemblance to the Duchess of Cambridge, although the lack of a baby bump is an obvious giveaway.

The Duchess of Cornwall decided to get the ball rolling by cheerfully chatting to Queen Rania about the snow storm wreaking havoc at home.

The elegant Queen, 42, seemed pleased with Camilla’s conversation opener and replied: 'So it's a good time to be away then?'

On meeting at the Hummar Palace Camilla curtseyed deeply and respectfully to her, as required by rank. Camilla, of course, is only a Duchess still while Rania is Queen.

After a formal 'honour guard' welcome at the palace, the couple went their separate ways.

Charles donned a pair of white slippers on a visit to the King Hussein Mosque and was later given a tour of an award-winning digital production company.

Meanwhile the Duchess of Cornwall put on a virtual crown as she took part in a storytelling session for deaf children during a visit to a museum.

As she listened to the story, read in English by a storyteller from the British Council, the Duchess joined the children in forming the words of the story in sign language - including miming the donning of a crown.

The Duchess, who according to Clarence House will be called Princess Consort when Charles is King, was visiting a children's museum founded by Queen Rania in the capital Amman.

Storyteller Lee Henson, the teaching centre manager with the British Council, said: "She was fantastic. She did all the signs."

The Duchess also painted a pebble with a group of children and planted a kumquat tree. 'Oh my embarrassing pebble,' she said as it was placed by the tree. 'Don't look at my pebble. It's not my best piece of art.'

Then it was off to a local girls' school with Queen Rania driving herself in a customised black £150,000 Mercedes G Wagon.

According to sources, Rania had the car custom-made for her. Camilla, who arrived a few minutes later, curtseyed again.

The two women first watched a group of girls playing basketball before being formally welcomed to the establishment by a group of pupils dancing and singing a welcome dance called an Al Dabka.

The two royal ladies were then escorted into several classrooms including one where the girls were using the internet.

The Duchess admitted to being 'unfamiliar' with Facebook and pulled a few faces.

After taking part in a group discussion about diversity, the Duchess was presented with paper flowers by two teenage schoolgirls who kissed her on both cheeks -as is local custom.

Camilla also visited a classroom where girls were being taught about healthy eating. 'No junk food then?' she said.

She presented the school with some children's books to be used by a British charity called Katie's Readers which uses native English speakers to teach young Jordanian children English.

They included The Tiger Who Came To Tea, A Bear Called Paddington, The Gruffalo, Prince Charles's book The Old Man of Lochnagar and the Buckingham Palace children's book, Does The Queen Wear Her Crown In Bed?

Before leaving she took part in a game involving bouncing a ball on the ground and catching it. She was not exactly a natural - she managed to miss the catch a couple of times.

For Prince Charles, there was a taste of home and a meeting with none other than Britain’s own Postman Pat.

The Prince beamed with amusement as he was shown the opening scene of a 3D feature film about Greendale’s favourite resident and chatted to staff at an animation studio bringing the TV series to the big screen.

He was even presented with a model of himself, posing characteristically with one hand in his jacket pocket, alongside Pat and his faithful cat Jess.

The Jordanian firm Rubicon is making the film, due for release at the end of this year, in partnership with the Hollywood studio Dreamworks.

The Prince watched with fascination as Mahmoud Hindawi, 30, used an electronic pen to draw and paint a picture of Pat as part of the pre-production process before the images are converted into 3D graphics.

Admiring the artist’s skill, the Prince said: 'It’s brilliant. Have you been doing this since you were quite small? Is it hereditary?”

Mr Hindawi told him his father was an architect and that he had done a masters degree in Newport, south Wales.

One of the staff told the Prince he had seen the Prince’s own paintings and that they were 'amazing', to which Charles replied: 'I can’t do this though.'

Animator Mona Zalloum gave the Prince a sneak preview of the film on her computer screen after finishing a scene in which Postman Pat sings a song.

After being shown how the images are animated, the Prince said: 'The complexity is incredible isn’t it?'

Mona said: 'In the film, Postman Pat goes to a contest like Britain’s Got Talent and sings because he wants to win money to take his wife to Italy. He surprises everyone with his singing.'

Surprisingly, Postman Pat is popular with children in Jordan, where it has been shown on TV for decades.

Mona said: 'We all used to watch it as kids. It’s exciting for us to be working on turning it into a movie.'

At the beginning of his tour of the facility in Amman the Prince put on 3D glasses and used a 3D mouse to put out a fire using an extinguisher as he was shown technology which is used to train people in the workplace in a safe but realistic way.

He was told it enabled people to work with electricity in a safe environment and he said: 'That suits me.'

He also had a go at wiring a plug, but deliberately got it wrong after being told he would feel a slight shock through the mouse if he connected the wrong wire.

Asked if he felt the shock, he said: 'Yes I did, I don’t think I would make a very good electrician.'

At the end of the tour the Prince was shown the opening scene of the Postman Pat film, again putting on 3D glasses to see a train pulling in to Greendale Station before the camera flies across lush fields with children playing in them and arrives at Pat’s front door, where Jess is sitting on the doorstep wearing the postman’s cap.

Randa Ayoubi, the chief executive of Rubicon, told Charles: 'We are doing this for children all over the world. He is a very authentic character and this is Pat being taken outside the UK and into the world.'

The Prince then posed for photograph with the entire staff, when he was presented with the eight-inch high model of himself, towering above Pat and Jess.

Source : www.dailymail.co.uk.

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