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The Earl and Countess of Wessex visit the Cayman Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas

Published 22 February 2023

Their Royal Highnesses are undertaking the 5-day visit in support of their Patronages.

Cayman Islands

On arrival in the Cayman Islands, The Earl and Countess of Wessex were welcomed by the Governor, Mr Martyn Roper.

At Government House, Their Royal Highnesses attended a reception with the Island community, where The Earl delivered a message from The King:

My wife and I recall with great fondness the warmth of our welcome to the Cayman Islands in 2019 and how inspiring it was to see at first-hand the remarkable development of the Territory over the past few decades. 

Caymanians are rightly proud of their culture and heritage, their modern and dynamic community, together with their determination to protect their environment and grow their economy sustainably. 

The Cayman Islands, like all of our Overseas Territories, are much-loved and integral members of the British Family and I look forward to strengthening yet further our relationship in the years ahead. 

As Patron of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute, The Earl visited the Coral Nursery on Little Cayman.

As Patron of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute, The Earl visited the Coral Nursery on Little Cayman.

The institute works to conduct and facilitate research, education, and outreach that will sustain marine diversity for future generations.

His Royal Highness also visited that Institute’s site, meeting staff and students who are currently undertaking research projects.

As Global Ambassador for 100 Women in Finance, The Countess of Wessex joined a panel discussion on empowering women in the workplace.

Her Royal Highness also visited the YMCA Field of Dreams, to meet local community volunteers and join children in taking part in activities, including ice cream making and archery.

On Grand Cayman, The Earl of Wessex met the Cayman Island’s Regiment, Cadet Corps and Coast Guard.

The Cayman Island’s Regiment showed His Royal Highness equipment that can be deployed in the event of a natural disaster, including water purification technology and a field kitchen.

The Countess of Wessex visited the Annual Agricultural Show at Savannah, where she officially declared the show open, and met local farmers and vendors.

Their Royal Highnesses finished their time on Grand Cayman by presenting certificates to Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award holders.

Turks and Caicos Islands

The Earl and Countess were officially welcomed to Turks and Caicos by the Governor, Mr Nigel Dakin, and the Premier, Honourable Charles Washington Misick.

Their Royal Highnesses joined a reception with the Governor and Premier, where they met a cross-section of Island’s community, as well as delivering a message from The King:

I recall with great fondness my visit to Grand Turk and South Caicos in 1973.  The transformation of the Islands in the last few decades is clearly remarkable, and a testament to the hard work, ingenuity and – given the Hurricanes it has endured – resilience of the people of these Islands. 

After so many challenges in recent years, it is a further testament to the vibrancy, good governance and natural beauty of the archipelago that so many people are now discovering and rediscovering all that it has to offer.

My wife and I greatly value the deep and special relationship we have with The Turks and Caicos, and indeed all of the Overseas Territories, and will continue to stand with you in the years ahead.

On Providenciales, The Earl of Wessex visited the Ed Gartland Youth Centre to meet staff who are mentoring boys from the 100 Black Men and Boys to Men initiatives, which work to empower underprivileged young men and boys.

His Royal Highness also met athletes from the Turks and Caicos Islands who participated in the Commonwealth Games, before attending the annual basketball match and presenting the trophy.

There was also the opportunity to meet uniformed personnel from the Islands and hear more about their work.

At Blue Haven Marina, The Countess of Wessex learnt more about the work to protect the indigenous wildlife and barrier reef, as well as having the chance to see the last community of Rock Iguanas.

Her Royal Highness then attended a TCI Women’s Leadership and Empowerment event, where she was joined by women representing the public and private sector.

During the event, a youth mentoring scheme – known as the ‘Wessex Scheme’ – was launched, which involves a commitment of community and business leaders to mentor young women.

The Bahamas

The Earl and Countess then travelled to the Bahamas, where they joined a Governor General’s Youth Awards (GGYA) Gold Award Ceremony.

The GGYA is The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award’s name in the Bahamas, which has been active on the Islands since 1987. The Earl of Wessex is Chairman of the Board of Trusteess of the International Award, which is now active in 130 countries.