Published 15 March 2018

The Duke of Gloucester has visited Malawi to celebrate Commonwealth Day and official dedicate Malawi's contribution to The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy.

The Royal Visit to Malawi started on Commonwealth Day, where The Duke of Gloucester attended a Girls' Education theme Commonwealth Big Lunch.

From Commonwealth Day to the end of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in April, The Big Lunch project is inviting people from across the Commonwealth to join together with their neighbours in an act of community and friendship. Find out how to get involved here.

His Royal Highness then visited Kauma, Lilongwe to see how the Order of St John is delivering health services to mother's & babies in a Malawian village.

Across the globe, St John reaches more than 3 million people a year with community health services. The Mama Na Mwana (Mother and Baby) project in Malawi is tackling high priority issues in maternal and newborn health.

Over the last three years, St John volunteers have reached more than 30,000 people and directly supported another 10,000 pregnant women and new mothers.

The Duke is Patron of Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, and during Royal Visit Malawi he celebrated the Trust's 10th Anniversary at its Wildlife Centre, Malawi's only sanctuary for wildlife animals.

Day two of Royal Visit Malawi started with officially dedicating Malawi's contribution to The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy – the Chimaliro Forest, Kasungu.

This important project was launched by The Queen at CHOGM 2015. It aims to create a network of forest conservation projects across all 53 countries of the Commonwealth.

The Duke then visited a project run by the Department for International Development (DFID), which has so far supported 1.5 million people to increase their capacity to address the impacts of poverty and climate change.

On Day three of the visit, His Royal Highness had a breakfast with Commonwealth scholarship alumni.

Since the inception of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship scheme in 1970, over 400 Malawians have benefited from Higher Education study in the UK. This year (2017-2018) Malawi has put through 24 scholars and fellows to study various postgraduate degrees in the UK.

At Lilwonde National Park, The Duke was able to see the work being done to protect Malawi’s national parks and wildlife and the benefits of the UK-Malawi partnership in tackling this issue of the illegal wildlife trade and poaching.