The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Wednesday, the third country they’ve visited as part of their royal tour of the Caribbean.
Their day started at the Argyle International Airport near Kingstown, where they were officially welcomed by the Governor-General, Sir Frederick Nathaniel Ballantyne, the Prime Minister, Ralph E. Gonsalves, and schoolchildren who had lined the tarmac.
Prince Charles inspected a Guard of Honour and received a royal salute before he and Camilla met with the crowds gathered to greet them.
From the airport, Their Royal Highnesses separated to carry out their individual engagements on the island.
Princtravelleds traveled to the Prospect Brighton Mangrove Park to learn more about St. Vincent’s conservation efforts and its natural environment.
According to Clarence House, Prospect Brighton Mangrove Park is “the only remaining white mangrove and coastal forest on mainland St. Vincent, and provides a habitat for unique wildlife, including the blue land crab and red footed turtle.”
He was received by the Chairman of the Park, Dr Jerrol Thompson, and saw how environmental groups are using recycled materials. He also met with representatives from One Drop, the Caribbean Youth Environment Network and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community Environmental Club.
The management style of the Park is inspired by Prince Charles, per Clarence House, in particular the following quote: “Forests are in fact the world’s air-conditioning system, the lungs of the planet – and we are on the verge of switching it off.”
The Prince unveiled an information board to commemorate his visit.
Meanwhile, Camilla visited the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College to attend a roundtable discussion on domestic violence and meet with female entrepreneurs.
The Duchess of Cornwall was treated to a dance performance by the La Gracia Dance Company and Arabesque Dance Company upon her arrival.
Following the dance, the Duchess met with Annette Mark, the Executive Director of Invest SVG, and Keisha Phillips, the Centre for Enterprise Development’s Public Relations Officer, to view stalls set up by the entrepreneurs.
Camilla stopped at one stall to take a sip of passionfruit rum that was 45% proof and was overheard exclaiming to the vendor, Michker Edwards, “Blimey! That packs a punch!” before walking over to another stall and trying another batch.
Her Royal Highness then participated in a panel discussion called “Violence Against Women” and heard from several women, including domestic abuse survivors and women’s organisations on St. Vincent.
Prince Charles then visited the St Vincent and Grenadines Coastguard to meet with marine cadets and Youth Development Summer Programme graduates.
He then reunited with Camilla to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph and laid a wreath to honour the 61 men who were killed during the First World War and the four killed during the Second World War.
The couple met with Lieutenant Colonel Dwight Lewis, Commandant of the Cadet Force of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Nina Maloney, the President of the Legion, as well as other military representatives.
Afterwards, Their Royal Highnesses walked through the Kingstown Vegetable Market to visit stalls and had a run in with a group of Girl Guides who thought they were meeting The Queen.
According to the Evening Standard, the girls asked Camilla, “Queen Elizabeth, do you have a castle?”
Camilla corrected them, but they then approached Prince Charles and asked, “Where’s The Queen, I don’t get it.”
The Prince responded, “She’s not here, I’m afraid.”
The couple separated again, with Prince Charles heading to St. George’s Cathedral, where he toured the church and viewed its stained-glass windows. He met with church officials and members of the congregation while The Bishop’s College Kingstown Band provided musical accompaniment.
The Duchess visited St. Vincent Girls’ High School to listen in on a school presentation by Jodie Dennie, an Associate Fellow of the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, of which Camilla has presented awards before.
She also visited the Language Laboratory to see how new technology is allowing students to upload their essays; then attended a performance by the school’s steel orchestra and presented the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition certificates.
In his final solo engagement of the day, Prince Charles visited the Botanical Gardens for a tour and to plant a Soufriere Tree.
Prince Charles and Camilla attended a reception at the Prime Minister’s residence hosted by the Governor-General before departing for Barbados.
Thursday will see the couple travel to St. Kitts and Nevis for a day of engagements.