The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to the Realms of Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen on the occasion of the Platinum Jubilee.

About the tour

The visit is taking place between Saturday 19th March and Saturday 26th March, beginning in Belize where Their Royal Highnesses will visit historic Mayan sites and celebrate the rich culture of the Garifuna community as well as exploring the country’s biodiversity.

The Duke and Duchess will then travel to Jamaica where their visit will include engaging with the Jamaican Defence Force and celebrating the seminal legacy of Bob Marley and other ground-breaking Jamaican musicians alongside some of tomorrow’s stars.

The Duke and Duchess’ visit will end in The Bahamas where they will spend time with communities across a number of islands and experience a world famous junkanoo parade. The response to COVID-19 will also feature in The Duke and Duchess’ programme.

Their Royal Highnesses are keen to understand more about the impact that the pandemic has had across the Caribbean, and how communities have pulled together to respond to the challenges they have faced. Throughout their visit, The Duke and Duchess will take the opportunity to commemorate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

Belize

On arrival in Belize, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were welcomed to the country by the Governor General and government officials. 

Their Royal Highnesses then travelled to Belize City for a meeting with Prime Minister Johnny Briceño and his wife, Rossana. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are welcomed to Belize

On the second day of the tour, The Duke and Duchess visited a cacao producer to learn more about Belize’s world-famous Maya chocolate making.

Their Royal Highnesses then travelled to Hopkins, a small village on the coast which is considered the cultural centre of the Garifuna community in Belize. 

Acknowledging Belize’s world-famous marine environment, The Duke and Duchess also spent time learning from conservation specialists about marine protection and the incredible restoration efforts of Belize’s precious barrier reef being led by communities across the country.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Belize

On their second full day in Belize, The Duke and Duchess visited Caracol – an ancient Mayan archaeological site deep in the Chiquibul Forest.

Their Royal Highnesses learnt about the history of the site during their tour and has the chance to take in the incredible Caana or ‘sky palace’ – which remains the tallest man-made structure in Belize to this day.

The Duke then took a trip trip down memory lane when he and The Duchess spent time with BATSUB (British Army Training Support Unit) in the jungle. This is a military unit which delivers tropical environment training to troops from the UK and international partners.

In 2000, His Royal Highness spent a period of time with BATSUB under the guidance of the Welsh Guards.

During their time with BATSUB, The Duke and Duchess heard about the close cooperation between the British Army, and conservation organisations such as Friends for Conservation and Development working to protect the Chiquibul Forest, which is part of The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.

To end the day, Their Royal Highnesses attended a reception hosted by the Governor General of Belize at the Mayan ruins at Cahal Pech, near San Ignacio.

This special reception was held in celebration of  The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and brought together community leaders, well-known Belizeans and members of the Government. 

The following morning, The Duke and Duchess bid farewell to Belize during the official departure ceremony at the Philip S. W. Goldson Airport as they headed to Jamaica for the next leg of their tour.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge depart Belize

 

 

Jamaica

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge received an official welcome to Jamaica at Norman Manley International Airport, before travelling to the King's House, the residence of the Governor General, for a meeting.

Their Royal Highnesses then went to Trench Town, the birthplace of reggae music in the heart of Kingston. Here they joined some young football players - including the winners of Jamaica’s famous Manning Cup – on a local football pitch.

There was also some well known figures in sport, including England footballer Raheem Sterling, who was born in Jamaica, and the Jamaican Bobsleigh team who recently competed at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet young footballers in Jamaica

The Duke and Duchess then visited the Trench Town Culture Yard Museum where Bob Marley used to live and interact with other iconic musicians. Here they learnt about the area’s social history, it’s extraordinary global contribution to music, and attended a celebration of reggae music.

On their second day on the country, Their Royal Highnesses had an official meeting with the Jamaican Prime Minister, Andrew Holness.

They then travelled to Shortwood Teacher’s College to meet students who are training to become early childhood education practitioners. 

Over recent years, The Duchess has focused her work to elevate the importance of early childhood development, and the College is a recognised exemplar in its field, conducting research in early childhood education and care while also offering professional development programmes to the early childhood sector.

The Duke and Duchess then visited Spanish Town Hospital where they met doctors, nurses and other members of staff to hear about their experiences as part of the frontline response to COVID-19 in Jamaica.

Next, Their Royal Highnesses travelled to Flankers, near Montego Bay to learn about how the Jamaica Defence Force is supporting at-risk young men in vulnerable communities by providing training in driving trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles, in turn supporting them into employment.

To finish the day, The Duke and Duchess then attended a dinner hosted by the Governor General of Jamaica.

The Duke of Cambridge gives a speech

On their final morning in Jamaica, Their Royal Highnesses attended the inaugural Commissioning Parade for service personnel from across the Caribbean who have recently completed the Caribbean Military Academy’s Officer Training Programme.

The Bahamas

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were greeted in The Bahamas with an official arrival at Lynden Pindling International Airport.

Their Royal Highnesses then travelled to Nassau for a meeting with the Prime Minister of The Bahamas.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Belize

On their first full day in The Bahamas, The Duke and Duchess started the day with a  visit to Sybil Strachan Primary School in Nassau where they will drop in on a class to meet pupils and staff, to hear more about the impact that COVID-19 on schools.

Next, Their Royal Highnesses spent time with key workers and frontline staff in an informal gathering in the Garden of Remembrance in Nassau. Here they heard about Bahamians’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how people came together to protect the vulnerable.

The Duchess of Cambridge meets key workers

The Duke and Duchess also got the chance to see a traditional Bahamian Jankadoo celebration.

Their Royak Highnesses then took part in The Bahamas Platinum Jubilee Sailing Regatta.  Sailing regattas were one of the many things that were put on pause during the pandemic, and this event celebrated the return of sloop sailing races to The Bahamas.

The Duchess of Cambridge at the Bahamas Platinum Jubilee Sailing Regatta

The event also provided a nod to The Duke of Edinburgh, who was Honorary Commodore, before becoming Honorary Life Member of the Royal Nassau Sailing Club.

The day finished with a reception hosted by the Governor General, during which The Duke and Duchess had the opportunity to meet community leaders and notable people from across The Bahamas’ many islands.

On the final day of their tour, The Duke and Duchess spent time learning about the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian, which hit in September 2019, and the reconstruction efforts that have followed. 

Firstly, they travelled to Abaco – a chain of islands and barrier cays in the northern part of the country. It was one of the parts of the country that was hit hardest by Dorian, with winds of 185mph leaving devastation in their wake.

Staring the day at Daystar Evangelical Church, Their Royal Highnesses met people and families from across the community to hear first-hand what it was like to be on the island at the point the hurricane hit, and how people have come together to support each other during an incredibly difficult time. 

Next on Abaco, The Duke and Duchess celebrated the regeneration work and the return of tourists to the island as they attended a ‘Fish Fry’ – a quintessentially Bahamian culinary gathering place which is found on every island in The Bahamas. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Fish Fry

Their Royal Highnesses then travelled from Abaco to Grand Bahama, where they visited the Grand Bahama Children’s Home which provides a loving home environment to vulnerable children who are not able to live with their families. 

The Duke of Cambridge at Grand Bahama Children's Home

Since it was established in 1977 by the local community, the Home has cared for over 900 children. 

The final engagement of The Royal Highnesses tour was a visit to the 2021 Earthshot Prize Winner, Coral Vita. 

Coral Vita was the inaugural winner of the ‘Revive Our Oceans’ Earthshot in recognition of their ground-breaking work to give new life to dying coral reefs. 

Their Royal Highnesses had a tour of Coral Vita’s home on Grand Bahama by co-founder Sam Teicher, seeing for themselves how the coral is grown and hearing more about Coral Vita’s ambitious plans to preserve threatened ecosystems globally for the future, which are being supported and scaled with thanks to support from The Earthshot Prize. 

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