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British Royals

All smiles for Edward and Sophie as Caribbean tour gets under way

The Earl and Countess of Wessex have arrived in St. Lucia for a week long Caribbean tour marking the Platinum Jubilee.

Edward and Sophie were all smiles as they arrived on the island on April 22nd 2022. The couple were welcomed at the airport by the Deputy Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Dr Ernest Hilaire, as well as the aide-de-camp to the governor general, Captain Cyril Saltibus.

The Earl and Countess were given a guard of honour on their arrival while the band of the St. Lucia police force played the country’s national anthem.

Later, they were given an official welcome by the Prime Minister, Philip Pierre, at his residence. They exchanged gifts with Edward and Sophie presenting their host with a Jubilee box and a photo of themselves. Mr. Pierre handed over a painting of one of the island’s famous turtles. It had been kept safe in a long, black tube and Prince Edward asked with a smile whether it was a fishing rod before showing off the picture.

They were also welcomed to Government House by the acting Governor-General of St. Lucia, Cyril Errol Melchiades Charles, and his wife, Anysia.

The couple’s arrival went smoothly but the final preparations for their tour were overshadowed by questions over last minute changes.

Just days before their visits got under way, it was announced that a planned stopover in Grenada wouldn’t go ahead. Buckingham Palace didn’t give a reason for the change, confirming that it had come about after consultation with the government of Grenada.

The latest Platinum Jubilee tour will see Edward and Sophie visit Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda as well as St. Lucia. They are set to meet ”communities, local entrepreneurs and craftspeople, and young people” through their seven days in the Caribbean.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.