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‘Within the Commonwealth Realm’ – The Caribbean: Part 2

Alas we have come to the final segment of ‘Within the Commonwealth Realm‘. In this final section we will be ending the series by taking a look at the remaining countries of the Caribbean.

Grenada

Before becoming a crown colony in 1877, Grenada went between British and French rule. Almost one hundred years later, Grenada became self-governing, and in 1974 became a independent Commonwealth nation.

Upon Queen Elizabeth’s first visit in 1966 to St. George, a yachting race took place in the harbour and a ‘Song of Welcome’ was sung by a children’s choir.

For The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex attended celebrations on her behalf. They took in festivities such as a youth rally, visit to the Botanical Gardens and the planting of a spice tree at Laura Herb and Spice Gardens.

Jamaica

Jamaica was cast into the spot light when Prince Harry duped Jamaican track star, Usain Bolt, into looking the other way while he took a head start in a race during his visit for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tour. This tropical island holds a special place in the Commonwealth realm with six visits from Queen Elizabeth, including her Golden Jubilee where she and The Duke of Edinburgh toured the island. Princess Anne also visited in 2005 to view the work of the Save the Children Fund, which she is Patron of.

Similar to fellow Commonwealth realms The Queen has a special flag for when she is visiting the island. It is made up of a red cross on a white background, a yellow pineapple on each arms of the cross, with a golden ‘E’ inside a circle of roses in the centre.

St. Christopher and Nevis

More commonly known as St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Kitts was the first British colony in the west Indies in 1623, with Nevis in 1628. While being French controlled in the 17th and 18th century, St. Christopher and Nevis became fully independent in 1983.

Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh have visited on two occasions. Once in 1966 with her Caribbean tour where they took part in a Investiture at Government House and watched spectacular fireworks display, then again in 1985 upon HMY Britannia.

St. Lucialarge_6841860800

St. Lucia went back and forth between the British and French from 1659 until 1814 when the British took control. In 1967 St.Lucia became self-governing, and in 1979 gained full independence keeping Queen Elizabeth as sovereign.

1985 marked the year in which The Queen laid the foundation stone for a new Red Cross headquarters. She also visited a residential home for the elderly and visited the Girls’ Vocational School where they met children who benefit from The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

It is on these islands that according to her Royal style and title, Her Majesty is called ‘Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth on the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’.

Before St. Vincent and the Grenadines were colonized, the aboriginal people put up a fight to stay independent. In the late 1700s, they became part of the British Windward Islands, all until 1979 when they gained independence, yet kept Queen Elizabeth as Head of State.

Her Majesty has visited the islands twice – once in 1966 and again in 1985 – the latter in which The Duke of Edinburgh presented Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme Gold Awards during a ceremony at Government House.

photo credit: Martin Wippel via photopin cc

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