The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall started their Royal Tour of Barbados yesterday, with a jam-packed itinerary that saw them meeting government officials, visiting synagogues, attending women’s empowerment meetings and capping off with a star-studded reception at the Prime Minister’s residence.
The day started for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at Government House, where they met with Governor-General, Her Excellency Dame Sandra Mason. They signed a guest book, marking their visit to the country before heading out for an official welcoming ceremony.
The couple carried out a walkabout in the square before Prince Charles laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in Heroes Square in honour of Barbadians who have been killed in conflicts while a twenty-one-gun salute sounded.
Charles and Camilla then met with the first female prime minister in Barbados’ history before separating and carrying out separate engagements.
The Prince of Wales visited the Nidhe Israel Synagogue and toured the facility with members of the Jewish community. The synagogue is one of the oldest in the Western hemisphere, first built in 1654.
Following his tour inside, His Royal Highness unveiled a plaque to mark his visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Meanwhile, Camilla was visiting the Derrick Smith School in conjunction with The Big Lunch, one of her patronages that works to bring people together using food.
The Derrick Smith School supports students with developmental delays through “social, emotional, academic and physical development” and provides “a superior educational service in an emotionally supportive and accepting environment where each student can achieve their own unique level of independence,” Clarence House explained in their media release.
While visiting the school, Her Royal Highness toured the Lifestyle Centre, the Woodwork Workshop and a craft sale before attending a Commonwealth Big Lunch outdoors with students where she cut a cake baked by culinary students.
The school posted on its official Facebook page, “It was truly a privilege and an honour to host HRH The Duchess of Cornwall today.”
Next, Prince Charles visited the Savannah Garrison to attend a Field Medical Facility and Disaster Response Preparedness Demonstration. He met with the Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force, the Director of the Disaster Management Agency, Field Medical Facility workers, members of the Barbados Defence Force, the Barbados Fire Service and the Barbados Red Cross.
The Duchess of Cornwall joined in a Women of the World event at the Prime Minister’s residence where guests included Dame Billie Miller, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados and its first female Cabinet Minister; and Women of the World Foundation’s creator, Jude Kelly.
Camilla hosted a Women of the World reception at Clarence House to mark International Women’s Day a few weeks ago and has participated in Women of the World events in Australia and Washington.
Prince Charles then visited the Soroptimist Village and Hildegarde Weekes Activity Centre where he toured the laundry facility, met with residents of the village, and viewed handicrafts made by local schoolchildren before taking in a performance by the Eden Lodge Primary School.
Camilla visited the Maria Holder Diabetes Centre and toured the facility, later unveiling a plaque to mark her visit.
Afterwards, Prince Charles attended a Prince’s Trust International Reception at the Coral Reef Club Hotel where singer Lionel Ritchie was announced as the first Global Ambassador and First Chairman of the Global Ambassador Group for The Prince’s Trust.
Ritchie appeared in a video posted to Clarence House’s Twitter account talking about how The Prince’s Trust is helping young people in Barbados, saying, “The fact that [young people] can now believe in themselves is a huge step forward, and I was so proud to see them, they were actually excited to be there and telling their stories.”
.@LionelRichie, the first Global Ambassador and First Chairman of the Global Ambassador Group for @PrincesTrust, talks about how the charity’s work has changed the lives of young people in Barbados.#RoyalVisitBarbados pic.twitter.com/nwsAHSPEsM
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) March 19, 2019
Ritchie said, “Our best ambassadors are the kids, because once they realise ‘I can leave home, I can go to this place, go to this group and be inspired to do excellence’ is the best thing ever. And of course, this island is now infected with that kind of attitude. I just think it’s going to be brilliant.”
Finally, Prince Charles and Camilla wrapped up their first day in Barbados with a reception held at the Prime Minister’s residence, with musical accompaniment by the Royal Barbados Police Force Band.
Guests included members of the Barbados Turf Club, the Barbados Rum Affiliates, the Royal Commonwealth Society members, cricket athletes, and winners of The Queen’s Awards.
Today, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall begin their Royal Visit of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.