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Royal Family: Prince Charles' holidays to a remote mountain in Greece where he lives like a monk but Camilla isn't allowed to visit

Being a royal comes with some perks that make life a bit more peaceful than it is for your average Joe. But sometimes when the ribbon cutting and the prying eyes all get a bit overwhelming - a quick escape to a private hideaway is just what the doctor ordered.

And for one royal family member, finding that perfect retreat means heading to a special place where even wives are banned. And for the man who is first in line to the throne - solace comes in the form of the hidden hills of Mount Athos in Greece where women and children are banned.

Prince Charles is said to have made his first visit to the “holy mountain” days after the tragic death of Princess Diana. Located on a peninsula in the northern area of Greece, this monastery on Mediterranean peaks is home to monks and no women or children are allowed.

Prince Charles and Camilla arriving for a reception at The Guildhall after the service at St Paul's Cathedral

 PA Wire/PA ImagesPrince Charles and Camilla arriving for a reception at The Guildhall after the service at St Paul's Cathedral

As well as women being banned from the site, certain species of female animals are also said to not be permitted to enter according to GreekBoston.com. So when Prince Charles makes his pilgrimage to the monastic mountain, he goes it alone.

The rocky area acts as its own independent country run by the Eastern Orthodox Church. And you might find life a little different on this mount, including what time of day you call morning and night.

Byzantine time is used by those who live on the mountain which means the day begins at sunset instead of midnight. And not only is the time zone different, the dates go by the Julian calendar of the Roman Empire, which lags 13 days behind instead of the Gregorian calendar.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

 Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesChris Jackson/Getty Images

So when the royal pays a visit, he gets almost two weeks back of his year. According to the Guardian, the royal is believed to have made a "spiritual commitment" to Christian Orthodoxy.

But the prince seems quite dedicated to his solitude away from the hustle and bustle of royal life and is even prepared to sleep on the lumpy mattresses the monks provide. Which is a far cry from four poster beds and servants at your beck and call.

Speaking to the Guardian, royal spokeswoman Kristine Clark said: "He goes there as a private individual, not in his official capacity as the Prince of Wales. Visits are very much in his private time, so we don't issue details. What I can say is that he is interested in the architecture and spirituality of Mount Athos."

However, there’s no doubt that Mount Athos is a great detox from the everyday as you won’t find a TV or radio and you probably won’t see a car drive past. So if the royal is looking to escape from any paparazzi, then he’s definitely found the perfect hideout. 

Reference: My London: Melissa Sigodo - 

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