(Bloomberg) -- King Charles III sported a tie emblazoned with the Greek flag while meeting Rishi Sunak in Dubai — just days after the UK prime minister found himself embroiled in a diplomatic spat with the country.
The monarch matched the blue-and-white tie with a pocket square in Greek colors while attending international climate talks on Friday. Earlier this week, Sunak abruptly canceled a planned meeting with Greek premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis after his counterpart repeated calls for the Parthenon sculptures — known in Britain as the Elgin Marbles — to be returned to Athens.
Disagreement over ownership of the sculptures, which are on display at the British Museum, has been at the center of a long-running feud between the countries.
It was unclear whether the king, whose late father, Prince Philip, was born into the Greek royal family, was trying to make any statements. “The tie His Majesty was wearing today is simply one of his current collection,” a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace told Bloomberg.
The king wore the same tie when South Korean President Yook Suk Yeol visited London last week. The accessory was made by Athens-based necktie maker Pagoni, according to an article in Greek City Times.
Greek Premier Says He Wants to Preserve Good Relations With UK
While Charles is constitutionally obligated to avoid politics as king, he has been a long-standing environmentalist. That could put him at odds with Sunak’s recent policy announcements easing the pace of Britain’s transition to green energy.
The dangers of climate change “are no longer distant risks,” the king said in his speech at the opening of the COP28 summit. “Surely real action is required to stem the growing toll of its must vulnerable victims,” he added.
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