Prince Harry visits Antigua and Barbuda
Published 22 November 2016
Following a spectacular ceremonial welcome in St John's, Prince Harry has spent the first three days of his Caribbean tour in Antigua and Barbuda.
Prince Harry has visited Antigua and Barbuda, celebrating its 35th Anniversary of Independence, on the first leg on his visit to the Caribbean.
Prince Harry was met by the sights and sounds so traditionally associated with the Caribbean, as a local band provided the soundtrack for an Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force military parade, during which His Royal Highness formally inspected the Guard.
That evening, Prince Harry attended a reception hosted by the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams, featuring cultural performances introducing His Royal Highness to Antiguan life.
His Royal Highness's first morning in Antigua kicked off with a Youth Sports Festival at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Many Caribbean Islands have a fantastic record of producing some of the finest cricket players in the world, and Antigua is no exception. Prince Harry was hosted by three of Antigua & Barbuda's cricketing legends: Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Andy Roberts and Sir Curtly Ambrose.
Together they toured the grounds meeting local children and young people showcasing the many national sports played in Antigua and Barbuda.
From there, His Royal Highness attended a Charities Showcase event in the tropical grounds of Government House, in Antigua's capital St John's. Charities including the Nolan Hue and the Halo Foundation, Scouts and the Girl Guides highlighted the crucial work that they are carrying out in Antigua and Barbuda.
That evening, His Royal Highness visited Barnacle Point to attend a reception hosted by Prime Minister Mr Gaston Browne.
Day three of the tour saw Prince Harry leave the shores of Antigua for a short helicopter ride to its sister island of Barbuda. This island remains untouched in many areas, and with a population of around 1800 residents, its famous pink and white sandy beaches can often seem deserted. The same cannot be said however for the nearby lagoons where thousands of Frigate birds flock to each year for their annual mating season, making Barbuda one of the world's largest colonies for this species.
Back on shore, Prince Harry made the short walk to one of two schools in Barbuda, Holy Trinity Primary School. Here His Royal Highness joined the school children busy preparing celebrations for the school's 93rd anniversary of their Founders' Day.
His Royal Highness then travelled the short distance up the road to Sir McChesney George High School, Barbuda's secondary school with an impressive attitude towards conservation and promoting sustainability. Here, Prince Harry saw how students manage and utilise the natural resources they have access to in Barbuda as a small island state; whether it be practicing water harvesting, cultivating crops, or poultry farming, and met the pupils who are empowered and knowledgeable as a result.
That afternoon, back in Antigua, Prince Harry unveiled the first of four dedications towards The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy project at the Victoria Park Botanical Gardens in St John's. The visit coincides with the city's annual Arbour Day Fair, part of an innovative sustainable programme which encourages the public to return used plant bags in exchange for a tree of their own choosing. Prince Harry met those behind the scheme, including those growing 90,000 trees to be planted across the island, before unveiling a commemorative plaque to mark the dedication of the park to the QCC, next to an enormous Rubber tree that dominates the gardens.
Prince Harry is honoured to be visiting the Caribbean in the year of The Queen's 90th birthday, and to continue to develop The Royal Family's strong bonds with the people of these important Commonwealth countries. Find out more about Prince Harry's visit to the Caribbean here.