Charles plans Asia trip in late October

Prince Charles and wife the Duchess of Cornwall are to embark on a tour of Asia.

The royal couple are to undertake the trip later this month amid concerns over the royal family’s spending but the duchess will cut short her visit because of hot weather.

Camilla will accompany Charles to Japan and Brunei before flying back to England – at the prince’s expense – while he continues on to Indonesia to highlight trade links, the environment and relations between different faiths.

Clarence House officials said there would be about 15 people in the royal party – down by about six or seven and the trip is going ahead with Government support.

The spokesperson added: “Clearly the trip takes place against the backdrop of considerable international turmoil.

“The prince and the duchess are acutely conscious of the cost of these visits, but, as ever, are more than ready to do their duty at the request of their Government. And despite – you could almost say because of – the current economic situation, the Government has confirmed it wants this tour to go ahead, given the importance of the strategic priorities it is going to address.

“We are doing all we can to minimise costs. But Japan and Indonesia are a very long way away. These things cost what they cost.”

Charles and Camilla will visit Japan for four days from 27 October, and then travel on to Brunei for two days. The prince will then spend four days in Indonesia, where he will give a lecture on climate change.

Camilla, 61, who had a hysterectomy last year, has played an active role in the majority of the prince’s overseas visits, but has suffered visibly in the heat on several occasions, including in India in 2006 and the Caribbean this year.

With temperatures in Indonesia around 35C and 90 per cent humidity, it is felt too “arduous” for her to undertake the visit.