Charles, heir to the throne, was speaking at the opening of a community centre in Balham, south London, for the British Memons, a 30,000-strong community of Muslims who pride themselves on their business and entrepreneurial ethos. The Memons, many of whom are descended from emigrants who left the Indian state of Gujarat in the 18th century, were a "tremendous example to us all", he said. The prince has previously let it be known he wishes to be be known as the "defender of faiths" when he becomes king rather than "defender of the faith", a traditional title of the monarch which specifically refers to the Church of England.
"I think we are enormously fortunate to have such a rich and diverse mix" in British culture, he said.
The prince listened to a reading from the Koran and recitals from children during his visit to the newly-built centre, which is the first of its kind in Britain.
Charles said he wanted to recognise "the emphasis placed by the Memon community on traditional values, and the need for tolerance and understanding of other faiths, cultures and ideas different from one's own."