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How Princess Margaret made history for the royal family

When The Queen took the throne in 1952 and as the modern world developed, the royal family became a part of a lot of firsts, whether that was meeting with a notable figure, or having an engagement in a new place. And Princess Margaret became the first member of the British Royal Family to visit the country of Belize, then officially known as British Honduras.

Margaret was welcomed by students, girl guides, and citizens at the New Town Barracks as she met with the Governor, and Sir Colin Thornley, a British colonial administrator and the Governor of British Honduras, who would be accompanying her on her visit.

The visit itself would do two things for the country, it would establish an improved water supply for sections of Belize City, and it would establish “Princess Margaret Drive.” Located on what was Circular Road, the road used to serve as a horse race track that ended by the Barracks.

The trip included a Citizen’s Procession in honour of the Princess’ visit. There was also a banquet at the Government house where the Princess met with different civilian leaders. She would take the “Britannia” for part of her journey home before taking a plane. She was greeted by her sister, The Queen, at London airport.

One woman reflected on the appearance shortly after the Princess’ death in 2002. Victoria Cunningham was only eight years old when she met the Princess and told a news channel in Belize: “I represented Wesley Methodist School, and I had a partner here with me from the Catholic School, who gave her a box. I don’t know what was in the box, of course a gift, and I gave a bouquet. With her here is one of our old governors. His name was Sir Colin Farnley. I don’t know the priest name here for the Catholic Church.”

Since Margaret made the visit to the country, The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and other members of the Royal Family have visited. Often, the visit is to mark different key events or milestones. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in the country on March 19th 2022 for a visit marking the Platinum Jubilee.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.