Hurricane Irma didn’t just cause destruction in Florida and parts of the East coast of the United States; it tore through the Caribbean. Starting this Friday, 17 November, the Prince of Wales will visit three Caribbean islands severely affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria that took 263 lives and caused billions of dollars in damage.
Prince Charles will tour Antigua and Barbuda and the British Virgin Islands where The Queen is Head of State. He will also visit Dominica which is a former crown colony. His tour is to show support for the recovery efforts made thus far from the devastation and havoc caused by the hurricanes this past August and September.
His Royal Highness will be joined on his three-day tour by Penny Mordaunt, the new International Development secretary. The British government has come under fire for its lack of a speedy response in sending out resources and support after Irma. The UK government has so far committed £62 million toward the relief effort. It has also promised to match public donations to the British Red Cross. According to the Express, more than 1300 UK troops were deployed to provide aid.
In a statement about the tour, Clarence House said: “His Royal Highness’s visit comes following the widespread devastation in the region caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
“During the tour the Prince of Wales will meet members of the local communities and hear about the ways in which they have been recovering since the storms hit the Islands.
“The Prince of Wales will arrive in Antigua and Barbuda on Friday November 17, conducting engagements on the island of Antigua that day.
“His Royal Highness will visit Barbuda and the British Virgin Islands on Saturday November 18.
“On the final day of the tour, Sunday November 19, the Prince will conduct engagements in Dominica.”
A spokeswoman for Ms Mordaunt said: “The International Development Secretary will also be joining the visit to see first-hand the impact of the UK Government’s humanitarian relief efforts that were monumental in getting the islands open for business and tourists following the hurricanes.
“Her visit will demonstrate the UK is committed to working with the affected islands on their long-term reconstruction efforts so that each island can build back better.
“She will also have the chance to thank our British humanitarian heroes and the military who have worked tirelessly to help rebuild people’s lives.”