02/19/2014 10:23 am ET Updated Feb 19, 2014

Britain's Prince Charles Joins Sword Dance In Saudi Arabia

Britain's Prince Charles joined fellow royals in Saudi Arabia in a rousing performance of the country's traditional sword dance, during a trip to the Gulf this week.

Never one to hold back at a party, the prince donned a Saudi robe, head dress and ceremonial dagger for his part in the Ardah sword dance, held in the Saudi capital Riyadh where the Janadriyah national festival for heritage and culture is being celebrated, according to the BBC.

The prince has close ties to Saudi Arabia and his 10 official trips to the country include painting holidays deep into the wilds of the Gulf kingdom, The Telegraph reports.

The prince's affection for Saudi tradition, however, held little charm for human rights activists, who have urged him to raise Saudi Arabia's terrible human rights record with his royal counterparts. The U.K. media office of rights group Amnesty International made clear their opposition Wednesday on Twitter, tweeting:

According to Human Rights Watch's 2013 report, Saudi Arabia "stepped up arrests and trials of peaceful dissidents, and responded with force to demonstrations by citizens" in 2012, with women's rights remaining a contentious issue. Women and girls in the Gulf nation continue to be "forbidden from traveling, conducting official business, or undergoing certain medical procedures."

Earlier in February, a Saudi report revealed that a female Saudi student died after paramedics were denied entry to an all-female university campus, bringing the issue back into public focus.



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