SAN FRANCISCO – Prince Charles and his new wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, wrapped up their visit to the United States on Tuesday by touring a homeless shelter.
Charles and Camilla visited rooms at the Empress Hotel, which is part of the city's Direct Access to Housing Program, and later had a round-table discussion with Mayor Gavin Newsom, and city and hotel staff.
"He's a very charming person," said Rene McIntyre, 48, a former music teacher who was one of the people visited by the royal couple. "I think he understood and he put me at ease. I think he really wanted to hear the personal side of the homeless issue."
Residents and city officials were impressed with Charles' grasp of and interest in the problems of homelessness. Former San Francisco Supervisor Angela Alioto, who worked on the city's 10-year plan to combat homelessness, saw the visit as a sort of milestone.
"If you had told anyone two years ago that Gavin Newsom and Angela Alioto and the Prince of Wales would be standing in a successful, supportive housing program in San Francisco, no one in a million years would have believed you," Alioto said after the visit. "That's what you call a city working together for serious results in a human crisis situation."
Their royal couple's trip also included stops in New York, Washington and New Orleans.