The Prince of Wales arrived in St. Lucia yesterday to begin the Caribbean Tour that will see him and the Duchess of Cornwall travel across six countries, one overseas territory, and the first royal visit to Cuba.
Prince Charles arrived in St. Lucia on Sunday afternoon to attend events marking the 40th anniversary of the country’s independence. He was received at the airport by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and Governor-General Sir Emmanuel Neville Cenac.
Prince Charles watched a military parade as part of his official welcome to the country and inspected the Guard of Honour. He also observed a performance by The Helen Folk Dancers.
Following the ceremonial aspects of his welcome, Prince Charles presented a Commonwealth Point of Light Award to Dorothy Phillip to honour her work in support of cancer patients and their families.
The Commonwealth Point of Light Award is awarded weekly to individual volunteers throughout the 53 nations of the Commonwealth in the lead-up to the 2020 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda.
The Award officially launched prior to the last CHOGM in London in 2018, but the success inspired The Queen to continue it.
Phillips created ‘Faces of Cancer’ in 2009, which supports over 200 cancer patients and their families finically, emotionally, or by accompanying patients to their appointments, among other support duties.
Speaking to the St. Lucian News Online, Phillips said that she was “blessed, humbled and elated” to have been awarded for her work.
“I hope that winning this award would encourage others to be more giving and selfless in assisting people in need within their community and St. Lucia at large. I also hope this award will inspire and encourage Saint Lucians to be committed to volunteering their services for the good of their country and others and not think of what is in it for me, but what is in it for my country and my people.
“I believe this is true patriotism.”
Prince Charles also gave a speech in which he celebrated St. Lucia and its achievements throughout its 40 years of independence.
“This is a strong society…and one which places special emphasis on family and community.
“As you celebrate this year everything that St. Lucia has achieved over these four decades of her independence, I know that you also take pride in committing yourselves to building the strongest, brightest future for this country.”
Speaking about the environment and climate change as it relates to St. Lucia, Prince Charles said, “I saw for myself the devastation that hurricanes Maria and Irma wrought in Dominica, Barbuda and the British Virgin Islands when I visited those communities in November 2017.
“Tackling the truly alarming threat of climate change and finding some ways of mitigating the risks it presents is and must continue to be a top priority for the Commonwealth.”
He also spoke of St. Lucia’s participation in the Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme, which has helped map the island’s seabed, saying that it will “not only inform our understanding of the effects of climate change but has the potential to help develop St. Lucia’s vital blue economy in significant and sustainable ways.”
Prince Charles also expressed his happiness at being able to visit St. Lucia again, saying that he was glad to “have this opportunity of seeing so many of you once again.”
Prince Charles last visited St. Lucia with Camilla in 2008.
The Royal Tour of the Caribbean continues through to 29 March and will see Prince Charles and Camilla visit Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Cuba, the Cayman Islands.