Published 30 October 2018

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall have started a Royal Tour visiting The Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria. 

Their Royal Highnesses started their tour on the Royal Visit The Gambia which is the first time either The Prince or The Duchess have officially visited the country.

The Gambia has this year re-joined The Commonwealth and President Adama Barrow attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London this April, meeting both The Queen and The Prince of Wales. 

Earlier this year Francis Blain, High Commissioner of The Gambia, presented his Letters of Credence to The Queen in a private audience, at Buckingham Palace.

This is the first time The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall have visited The Gambia and will attend several engagements including the Medical Research Council Unit and a Commonwealth Big Lunch. 

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall arrive at Banjul International Airport and are presented with a Kalabash containing Kola nuts by two young Gambians. 

Their Royal Highnesses are then accompanied by The President and Mrs. Bah-Barrow to view a traditional display of Gambian music and dance. 

In the evening The Prince and The Duchess attended an official welcome reception.

The Chevening and Commonwealth scholarships offer opportunities for future leaders and influencers from all over the world, including The Gambia, to develop professionally and academically.

As Their Royal Highnesses arrived at the reception, they were treated to a “Kora ensemble” - a traditional West African 21-string lute-bridge-harp.

They also saw traditional acrobatic dance from the Kayorn Kalorn, Banjul, Kabakel and Fula Juboo tribes. 

The the National Centre for Arts and Culture helped to arrange the performances. The organisation was set up in 1989 to preserve, promote and develop Gambian arts and culture.

Day Two

On Day Two of The Royal Visit The Gambia Their Royal Highnesses were received by President Barrow and attended an official welcome ceremony at the State House. 

Schoolchildren excitedly welcomed The Prince and The Duchess and President Barrow gave a speech saying: “We are truly honoured ... for us it is an indication of the true love Your Royal Highnesses have for this country.”

The Prince gave a speech saying: “Today, the United Kingdom and The Gambia can once again work together to defend our shared Commonwealth values and to promote democracy, human rights, tolerance and the Rule of Law.”

The Duchess of Cornwall then visited a local school where Her Royal Highness met children who have taken part in the Commonwealth Essay Prize and opened the school library. The Duchess also saw a performance by Grade 9 children from the "Tuseme Club", developed through the writing course. 

The Duchess also attended a Commonwealth Big Lunch event where she met young female entrepreneurs and presented a "Points of Light" Award.  

The Prince of Wales visited the Medical Research Council (M.R.C) Facility, which is part of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 

People at the facility research and evaluate interventions for the control of diseases of public health importance in sub-Saharan Africa.  It sees around 50,000 patients each year.

His Royal Highness viewed displays covering women in science, clinical services and scientific presentations before meeting with the Leadership Team. 

The Prince also visited the Gambian Armed Forces Training School meeting the Chief of Defence Staff, junior soldiers and joining a lesson on International Human Rights.

His Royal Highness also joined a roundtable discussion on eco-tourism and sustainable business.

Their Royal Highnesses visited the Commonwealth War Graves where they remembered people who have lost their lives in conflict. The Prince laid a wreath and they both spent time paying respects at the graves.

Finally Their Royal Highnesses were guests of The President at a State Dinner. 

In a speech The Prince recalled The Queen’s visit to The Gambia in 1961.

“I remember quite clearly The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh returning from their own visit to The Gambia in 1961, when I was just thirteen, and telling me how much they had enjoyed their time here.

“I remember seeing some of the photographs that my Father had somehow managed to take with his miniature Minox camera and thinking how marvellous it would be to visit myself one day. “Little did I know that it would take me nearly fifty-seven years to get here! Having enjoyed our visit as we have, all I can say, however, is that it has been well worth the wait!”