The Earl and Countess of Wessex are visiting Gibraltar on behalf of The Queen to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.
About the visit
Throughout the visit, The Earl and Countess of Wessex will celebrate The Queen’s 70 years of service with the people of Gibraltar.
Their Royal Highness last visited Gibraltar to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
During their time in Gibraltar, The Earl and Countess will also recognise its communities, culture and history, as well as its links with the United Kingdom. The visit will have a particular focus on promoting opportunities for young people and education.
On arrival in Gibraltar, Their Royal Highnesses were met by the Governor of Gibraltar, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, and the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, The Honourable Fabian Picardo QC MP.
At Gibraltar's RAF base, they received a military welcome, with The Earl inspecting the Guard of Honour formed of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment. His Royal Highness presented the Regiment with their new Colours at Windsor Castle in March, during their time on Guard Duty in London and Windsor.
Their Royal Highnesses also visited the Nautilus Project, to see how volunteers and The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award participants are working to protect Gibraltar’s varied marine life.
The Earl is Chairman of Trustees of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, which has being running the scheme in Gibraltar for over 50 years, with more than 200 young people taking part every year.
A messaged was also delivered from The Queen:
The second day of the visit got underway with a visit to the Moorish Castle Estate, where The Earl and Countess met local residents.
Later that morning, The Earl was shown Gibraltar’s newly-restored Northern Defences, now a local heritage site.
Meanwhile, The Countess joined volunteers at mental health charity The Clubhouse, to see first-hand how the service provides support for the local community.
Their Royal Highnesses then were able to meet many Gibraltarians as they walked down Main Street.
They later met Duke of Edinburgh International Gold Award Holders. The Duke of Edinburgh International Award was established in Gibraltar in 1971 and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021.
The Earl then visited the University of Gibraltar to meet those studying nursing and business courses.
At Her Majesty’s Naval Base, His Royal Highness, who is Commodore in Chief of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, met crew members of RFA ARGUS.
Meanwhile, The Countess was at the Special Olympics, where took part in a series of sports activities with the athletes, before joining Girl Guides and Scouts at Gibraltar’s Scouts Retreat Centre, in Her Royal Highness’ role as President of Girlguiding UK.
Her Royal Highness also visited Sandy Bay to see The Adapted Surfing Project in action. The project provides surfboarding and water activities for disabled young people and aims to inspire participants to take on new challenges.
On their final day in Gibraltar, The Earl and Countess attended The Queen's Birthday Parade in Casemates Square.
The Royal Gibraltar Regiment proudly used the Colour that was presented to them by The Earl during a special ceremony at Windsor Castle during their time on Guard Duty in March.
Next, The Earl and Countess visited the newly opened St Martin’s Special Needs School. The Countess visited the original St Martin’s School in 2012 and has a long held interest in the provisions for people with disabilities.
Their Royal Highnesses toured the new state-of-the-art facilities and were treated to a musical performance by the pupils in their new music room before planting a commemorative tree to mark the occasion.
Thank you Gibraltar for a wonderful visit!