Red carpet launch: Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex give a warm welcome in St Lucia and exchange gifts with the island’s prime minister on the first day of their Caribbean tour – after their trip to Grenada was postponed due to the backlash
- The Earl and Countess of Wessex rolled out the red carpet for them when they arrived on the island yesterday
- An honor guard welcomed the pair to the island nation as they began a week-long tour of the Caribbean
- The couple exchanged gifts with Prime Minister Philippe Pierre and gave them a painting of one of the island’s turtles
- In return, he gave him the Jubilee Box when they met at his house with a picture of the two of them
- This comes after their flight to Grenada was canceled at 11 o’clock after a discussion with the Governor General
Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex received a standing ovation in St. Lucia as they rolled out the red carpet at the late start of their Caribbean tour.
Things got off to a smooth start as the Earl and Countess of Wessex exchanged gifts with the island’s premier yesterday, days after the Grenada leg of their eleven o’clock flight was delayed.
It was the start of their seven-day tour of the Caribbean where they are scheduled to visit two other countries, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex, pictured here at Hewanorra International Airport, began their week-long tour of the Caribbean in St. Lucia on Friday
The Earl and Duchess of Wessex exchanged gifts with Prime Minister Philippe Pierre. They are also scheduled to visit two other countries, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines during their tour.
The couple were greeted by the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Philippe Pierre, at a reception at his island residence in the evening.
The platinum jubilee tour, organized to mark the Queen’s 70th anniversary, comes shortly after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were criticized for some elements of their recent Caribbean tour, believed to date back to colonial days.
Sophie and Edward presented Prime Minister Philippe Pierre a photo of them and the Jubilee Fund as a “token of appreciation” when they met him at his residence on Friday evening.
In return, the Premier of St. Lucia gave the couple a painting of one of the island’s turtles wrapped in a long black tube, and before finding out what the gift was inside the tube, Edward joked, “It’s not a fishing rod.”
The couple then signed the guest book to complete the first day of their engagement.
They exchange gifts with Monsieur Pierre The Earl and Countess of Wessex gave a watercolor of a tortoise
In return, the couple gave him a signed photo of them. The tour forms part of the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations
Prior to meeting Mr. Pierre, Sophie and Edward visited Acting Governor-General Cyril Errol Melkides Charles.
The week-long tour will see Sophie and Edward meet with communities, local entrepreneurs, artisans and youth as well as athletes training at the Commonwealth Games.
The couple’s trip to Grenada was canceled after consultations with the island’s government and the Governor General.
While there is a clear sense of the country, which gained independence from Britain in 1974, and inevitably progresses to becoming a republic one day, it is not a country where the issue is particularly prevalent at the moment.
Prince Edward was given a guard of honor upon his arrival at the airport on Friday. The couple were forced to delay the start of their journey after their stop in Grenada was delayed at the last minute
The Wessexes went to a reception given by Mr. Pierre on the first day of their tour. The week-long tour will see Sophie and Edward meet with local communities, entrepreneurs, local artisans and youth as well as athletes training for the Commonwealth Games.
But sources noted that lengthy discussions with the Grenada government and local officials to ensure that the Wessexes itinerary would meet the tour’s goals – to celebrate the island’s heritage and ongoing successes as well as celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee – have caused problems.
As a result of those discussions, Governor-General Cecil La Grenade advised that the trip be postponed.
She was not willing to discuss the details of the problem yesterday but one of her aides said: “All I can say at this point is that it was a joint decision.”
Prince Edward is depicted here receiving a black tube with a watercolor of turtles inside. Edward joked: “It’s not a fishing rod.”
In addition to a photograph of themselves, the Wessex family gave Mr. Pierre the Jubilee Box as a “token of appreciation” for the warm welcome they received.
Trips to the Caribbean islands will see a witch attack on the senior royals in an effort to shore up the monarchy in the region.
However, it will be an uphill battle with Antigua giving an open letter on compensation during the visit.
“An apology from the Crown both as a family and as an institution for their role in the enslavement of Africans in the slave trade and in the enslavement of African peoples,” Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Committee chairperson, Dorbrien O’Mardi, told a local radio station.
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