The Earl and Countess of Wessex are visiting Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda, from Friday 22 to Thursday 28 April.
While visiting Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, The Earl of Wessex met athletes in training for the Commonwealth Games, to be held in Birmingham this summer. Meanwhile, The Countess spoke to women in leadership roles about the community’s response to the eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano. Their Royal Highnesses also congratulated those who have recently completed their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
In Antigua and Barbuda, The Earl and Countess of Wessex heard more about the importance of sport in the community. Their Royal Highnesses met some of the West Indies’ legendary cricketers, and Antigua’s national rowing teams. They also attended a reception for local artisans and non-profit organisations.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex explored the varied landscape of Saint Lucia, they visited the Sulphur Springs and the Pigeon Island National Landmark. The Earl conducted an Investiture on behalf of Her Majesty, and Their Royal Highnesses attended a Service to mark The Queen’s seventy-year reign.
Their Royal Highnesses began their six-day visit in St Lucia where they received a warm welcome from the Prime Minister and the Governor General.
On arrival at Hewanorra International Airport, they inspected the Guard of Honour, before travelling to Government House to meet His Excellency Mr Cyril Errol Melchiades Charles, Acting Governor General of Saint Lucia. Their Royal Highness later met the Prime Minister, The Honourable Philip J. Pierre.
On Sunday 24 April, The Earl and Countess attended a Service at Holy Trinity Anglican Church to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Their Royal Highnesses then visited Morne Fortune, a historical site that also continues tombs of Saint Lucia’s two Nobel Laureates, Sir Arthur Lewis and Sir Derek Walcott.
In St Lucia, The Earl and Countess of Wessex attended a reception for Commonwealth military veterans, Saint Lucia Redcross and St John Ambulance at the High Commissioner’s Residence.Among the attendees was 100-year-old Haynes Cyril, President of The Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League.
Their Royal Highnesses also joined the acting Governor-General of St Lucia, Mr Errol Charles, to celebrate those in St Lucia who have achieved their Gold International Duke of Edinburgh Award.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex travelled to Soufriere where they went on to Fond Doux Cocoa Plantation where they learned about the cocoa production process and how it contributes to the local economy.
The Earl and Countess then visited the Sulphur Springs, a geo-thermal field and dormant volcano with natural mud baths. Their Royal Highnesses explored the site and heard about the history, evolution and eruption of the volcano.
At the Soufriere Mini Stadium, The Earl and Countess enjoyed a performance celebrating the young people of St Lucia. Did you know over 60% of the population of The Commonwealth’s 54 member countries are under 30 years of age?
On behalf of The Queen, The Earl of Wessex conducted an Investiture at Government House in Morne Fortune.
On their final day in the Caribbean, The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited Camille Henry Memorial school and Patricia D James Secondary school where they watched performances and met staff and students from the local area.
At Pigeon Island National Landmark, Their Royal Highnesses heard about how climate change is affecting the region. The Countess concluded their visit by planting a tree within the island’s 44-acre island reserve.
St Vincent and The Grenadines
On Saturday 23 April, The Earl and Countess of Wessex spent the day in St Vincent and the Grenadines, starting the day by meeting the Governor General and the Acting Prime Minister, The Honourable Montgomery Daniel.
The Earl then visited the Diamond Track at the Sir Vincent Beach National Stadium, where he will meet athletes training for the Commonwealth Games that will take place this summer in Birmingham. His Royal Highness also had the chance to see a special 70m sprint in honour of The Queen’s 70-year reign, and presented trophies to the winners.
The Earl paid a visit to Arnos Playing Field, where he was able to watch the end of a T10 female cricket match and meet some of the national sports teams, including netball and tennis.
Meanwhile, The Countess of Wessex was welcomed by the La Garcia Dance Company to the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College.
As part of her work to champion the need for support and equality for blind and partially sighted people, Her Royal Highness met representatives from the Society of and for the Blind, as well as local female entrepreneurs.
At the College, The Countess also met local women’s groups who shared their experience and roles in the community’s response to the eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano in 2021.
The Earl and Countess then attended a reception for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, where they presented Gold Awards to 13 young people.
At the Botanical Gardens, Their Royal Highnesses had a close encounter with St Vincent's national bird, the Amazona guildingii, met local school children and had the chance to plant a tree to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The day finished at the Prime Minister’s Residence for a meeting with Acting Prime Minister, Montgomery Daniel, and members of the Cabinet.
Antigua and Barbuda
The Earl and Countess of Wessex met West Indies cricket legends Sir Viv Richards, Sir Richie Richardson and Sir Curtly Ambrose during a visit to the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
During their day in Antigua and Barbuda they were welcomed with a Guard of Honour before meeting Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
Their Royal Highnesses met local craftspeople, creatives and community groups during a reception at Government House.
At the National Sailing Academy - which offers free swimming and sailing lessons for schoolchildren - The Earl and Countess met disabled sailors benefitting from the Sail-ability programme.
At Clarence House Their Royal Highnesses each planted a tree to mark The Queen’s #PlatinumJubilee.