The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall began their tour of Western Africa on Wednesday, landing in Banjul, the capital of The Gambia.
The royals were welcomed at the Banjul International Airport by the British High Commissioner to The Gambia, Her Excellency Sharon Wardle, and the President of The Gambia, His Excellency Adama Barrow.
Prince Charles and Camilla were presented with a Kalabash containing kola nuts, which is a symbol of honour in welcome ceremonies, and met members of the Gambian delegation before continuing with the welcome ceremony. The national anthems of the United Kingdom and The Gambia were played, followed by a performance of traditional Gambian music and dance.
Prince Charles and Camilla then travelled to the Coco Ocean Hotel for a performance by a Kora ensemble, a West African 21-string lute-bridge-harp, and a “cultural dance and acrobatic display in the tradition of the Kayorn Kalorn, Banjul, Kabakel and Fula Juboo tribes.”
The couple attended a reception for Chevening alumni, which is a programme that helps Commonwealth students to study in the UK through scholarships and fellowships, Gambian Commonwealth athletes and High Commission staff.
Prince Charles and Camilla were again welcomed by the President of The Gambia and his wife, Mrs Bah-Barrow, and met with the General Manager of the Coco Ocean Hotel and the Director General of the National Centre of Arts and Culture.
This is the first visit to The Gambia by Prince Charles or Camilla, and they are visiting in part to celebrate The Gambia’s return to the Commonwealth in February 2018. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh previously visited in 1961.
Prince Charles and Camilla are visiting The Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria through 8 November at the request of the UK government to “celebrate the UK’s dynamic, forward-looking partnerships with these Commonwealth Nations on a range of shared priorities.”