Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, visited some of Washington's monuments and memorials Wednesday, joining tourists on the National Mall.

The royal couple spent about 20 minutes touring the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial as well as the Lincoln Memorial. They paused briefly to read some of King's quotations about the civil rights movement that are engraved in stone.

Prince Charles and Camilla were joined by two civil rights leaders for their tour of the King memorial, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. They also greeted students and teachers from a high school in Virginia who had gathered to watch the visit.

Joan Darby, who brought her U.S. history class from Stafford, Va., to the King memorial said they were thrilled and surprised to meet Prince Charles, along with Lewis and Jackson. "To come here and have such a joyful event was just really incredible luck on our part," she said.

Earlier, the royal couple visited the Lincoln Memorial, where they were greeted by historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Michael Beschloss. The couple are also visiting George Washington's Mount Vernon estate in Virginia and the National Archives, which holds the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and a copy of the English Magna Carta.

Associated Press