Mount Athos (Agion Oros), the oldest surviving monastic community in the world, dates back more than a thousand years to the Byzantine era and is steeped in tradition. Perhaps it is all the ritual and tradition that has drawn Prince Charles to the Orthodox monastery time and again.

Multiple Greek press sources state that he will be visiting again this Easter and will be travelling incognito. Weekly newspaper Proto Thema reports that Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, will also be accompanying Prince Charles to Vatopedi Monastery for the first time.

The Prince of Wales is believed to have visited Mount Athos three times over the past six years – and possibly even more visits have taken place in complete secrecy as the prince, who is the future head of the Church of England, is so enamoured by Orthodoxy that he has adorned an entire section of his Highgrove home with Byzantine icons – many from Athos.

When Prince Charles visits the monastery he stays in a 30-40 sq metre cell that is more luxurious than the other monastic living quarters due to its size and the fact that it has its own bathroom. Despite this luxury, the rest of the day follows the schedule of monks and visitors to the monastery with 6am waking times, prayer, penance and philosophical talks with the clerics of the “state”.

In the past, reports have stated that Prince Charles also creates artworks featuring the residents of the monastery with whom he is very friendly with In the past, he donated money for the restoration of Saint Evdokimios of Vatopedi Monastery.