By politics.co.uk staff
Prince Charles will meet with Barack Obama in Washington this week as he undertakes a two day trip to the US.
The prince is expected to discuss a wide range of subjects with the President, including environmental issues, support for injured military personnel and education.
In a surprising move, the prince will fly in the private jet of US financier Joe Allbritton, one of his personal friends and a major source of funding for his charities.
The use of the private jet will mean the British taxpayer escapes the cost of the trip, but it will raise questions in some quarters about undue influence and the environmental impact of the trip, with the plane expected to make several trips while empty.
It is the first time the heir to the throne has used a jet paid for by a private individual for one of his trips.
"The government has asked the Prince of Wales to pay a visit to the United States," Clarence House said.
"Needless to say our friendship with the United States is one of the most important - given the special relationship.
"And it's crucial that we sustain this relationship with regular high-profile visits that focus on a wide range of issues that reflect the full depth and breadth of our shared interests."
The visit comes ahead of a state visit to the UK by President Obama later this month.