LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (AP) -- Prince Charles and his wife received a distinctly Kentucky welcome Friday during a visit to the Bluegrass state, where the royal couple got a glimpse into efforts to promote environment sustainability and protect historic buildings -- among the prince's favorite projects.
The royal couple was serenaded by a choir singing "My Old Kentucky Home" on their midday arrival in Louisville. Charles and Camilla received a welcome from the city's most famous native son -- boxing great Muhammad Ali -- that was read by the city's mayor.
"As you travel back to your homeland, we hope you know how much this city respects and admires the many contributions you have made in the world," Ali wrote in the message read by Mayor Greg Fischer. "We think you are the greatest."
Charles listened intently as an employee for hometown spirits maker Brown-Forman Corp. showed how whiskey barrels are made in bourbon country. Chad Ruch, who works at the company's cooperage in Louisville, put staves in place to form a barrel.
"He had a lot of questions about what the oak does to the product, and what creates the ... flavors that we have with our products," Ruch said.
Schoolchildren lined the sidewalk outside the royal couple's first event of the day at the Kentucky Center for African-American Heritage. Charles and Camilla stopped to shake hands and chat briefly with some of the youngsters.
Jailen Leavell, 15, was part of the River City Drum Corps that played for Charles and Camilla.
"This morning I just could not sleep," the teenager said. "I woke up at 4 o'clock just thinking how in the world was I going to handle this. Being able to actually see him is very surreal."
There was plenty of substance to the royal couple's visit. Charles was to attend a discussion on agriculture, visit with environmental activists, take a trip to the Old Louisville neighborhood known for stately Victorian homes and give a speech on health and the environment to cap the daylong visit.
The Kentucky stop comes after Charles and Camilla visited Washington.