The Earl and Countess of Wessex visit Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda
During Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year, the Earl and Countess meet with communities, local entrepreneurs and artisans, and young people, to celebrate the islands’ culture, future and vibrancy.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex are visiting Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda from Friday April 22 to Thursday April 28.
During his visit to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Earl of Wessex met athletes preparing for the Commonwealth Games, to be held in Birmingham this summer. Meanwhile, the Countess spoke to women in leadership positions about the community’s response to the La Soufriere volcano eruption. Their Royal Highnesses also congratulated those who recently completed their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
In Antigua and Barbuda, the Earl and Countess of Wessex heard more about the importance of sport in the community. Their Royal Highnesses met some of the legendary cricketers of the West Indies and the national rowing teams of Antigua. They also attended a reception for local artisans and non-profit organizations.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex explored the varied landscape of Saint Lucia, visiting sulfur springs and Pigeon Island National Site. The Earl led an Investiture on behalf of Her Majesty and Their Royal Highnesses attended a service to mark the Queen’s seventy-year reign.
Their Royal Highnesses began their six-day visit to Saint Lucia where they were warmly welcomed by the Prime Minister and the Governor General.
Upon arrival at Hewanorra International Airport, they inspected the honor guard, before proceeding to Government House to meet His Excellency Mr. Cyril Errol Melchiades Charles, Acting Governor General of Saint Lucia. Their Royal Highness then met with the Prime Minister, the Honorable Philip J. Pierre.
On Sunday April 24, the Earl and Countess attended a service at Holy Trinity Anglican Church to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Their Royal Highnesses then visited Morne Fortune, a historic site which also houses the graves of Saint Lucia’s two Nobel Laureates, Sir Arthur Lewis and Sir Derek Walcott.
In St Lucia, the Earl and Countess of Wessex attended a reception for Commonwealth military veterans, Saint Lucia Redcross and St John Ambulance at the High Commissioner’s Residence. Among the attendees was Haynes Cyril, 100, President of the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Service League.
Their Royal Highnesses also joined the Acting Governor General of Saint Lucia, Mr. Errol Charles, in celebrating those of Saint Lucia who received their International Gold Medal from the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex traveled to Soufriere where they visited the Fond Doux cocoa plantation where they learned about the process of cocoa production and how it contributes to the local economy.
The Earl and Countess then visited sulfur springs, a geothermal field and a dormant volcano with natural mud baths. Their Royal Highnesses explored the site and heard about the history, evolution and eruption of the volcano.
At the Soufrière mini stadium, the Count and Countess attended a show celebrating the young people of Saint Lucia. Did you know that more than 60% of the population of the 54 member countries of the Commonwealth are under 30?
On behalf of the Queen, the Earl of Wessex conducted an investiture at Government House in Morne Fortune.
On their last day in the Caribbean, the Earl and Countess of Wessex visited Camille Henry Memorial School and Patricia D James Secondary School where they attended performances and met local staff and students.
At the Pigeon Island National Site, Their Royal Highnesses heard about how climate change is affecting the region. The Countess concluded her visit by planting a tree in the island’s 44-acre island reserve.
St Vincent and the Grenadines
On Saturday April 23, the Earl and Countess of Wessex spent the day in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, starting the day with a meeting with the Governor General and Acting Prime Minister, the Honorable Montgomery Daniel.
The Earl then visited the Diamond Track at the Sir Vincent Beach National Stadium, where he will meet athletes training for the Commonwealth Games to be held this summer in Birmingham. Her Royal Highness also had the chance to watch a special 70m sprint in honor of the Queen’s 70-year reign and presented trophies to the winners.
The Earl paid a visit to Arnos Playing Field where he was able to watch the end of a women’s T10 cricket match and meet some of the national sports teams including netball and tennis.
Meanwhile, the Countess of Wessex was hosted by the La Garcia dance company at St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College.
As part of her work to advocate for the need for support and equality for blind and partially sighted people, Her Royal Highness met with representatives of the Society of and for the Blind, as well as local women entrepreneurs.
While at the College, the Countess also met with local women’s groups who shared their experience and role in the community’s response to the 2021 La Soufrière volcano eruption.
The Earl and Countess then attended a reception for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, where they presented gold medals to 13 youngsters.
At the Botanical Garden, Their Royal Highnesses had a close encounter with St. Vincent’s national bird, the Amazona guilingii, met local school children and had the chance to plant a tree to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee .
The day ended at the Prime Minister’s Residence for a meeting with Acting Prime Minister Daniel Montgomery and members of Cabinet.
Antigua and Barbuda
The Earl and Countess of Wessex met West Indies cricketing legends Sir Viv Richards, Sir Richie Richardson and Sir Curtly Ambrose during a visit to Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
During their day in Antigua and Barbuda, they were greeted by a guard of honor before meeting Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
Their Royal Highnesses met local artisans, creatives and community groups at a reception at Government House.
At the National Sailing Academy – which offers free swimming and sailing lessons for school children – the Earl and Countess met disabled sailors benefiting from the Sail-ability programme.
At Clarence House, Their Royal Highnesses each planted a tree to mark The Queen’s #PlatinumJubilee.