Published 19 November 2017
The Prince of Wales in the Caribbean

The Prince of Wales has visited the Caribbean to see how communities are recovering following the widespread devastation in the region caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

In Antigua, which escaped the worst of the storms, The Prince visited a centre for Barbudan evacuees and heard about how the community helped to support those evacuated. Many Antiguans have helped the neighbouring islanders by opening their homes to evacuees and donating clothes and food.  

On Friday evening, The Prince of Wales attended a reception in the Antiguan capital of St John’s.

His Royal Highness said: “As you recover and move forward, you can be sure, Ladies and Gentlemen, that you are not alone. The plight of those who have been through such terrifying devastation and are still enduring such dreadful privation is close to the heart of Her Majesty The Queen and, indeed, to my own.”

On Saturday 18th November, The Prince of Wales travelled to the island of Barbuda to see the devastation first-hand and meet survivors and charity workers.

 The first stop on Barbuda was Holy Trinity School, visited by Prince Harry last year, which was severely damaged and has been now abandoned by staff and pupils.

 His Royal Highness saw the destroyed classrooms, now strewn with books and other schoolwork, and heard about the recovery effort.

 Barbuda had a population of 1,700, but now less than 100 people remain on the island.

 Arriving in the British Virgin Islands in the afternoon, The Prince visited the Youth Empowerment Project, which helps equip young people with practical life skills for living in difficult situations. 

His Royal Highness met those working for the Red Cross, including volunteer Jaikarron Persaud. Jaikarron spent two weeks camping at the British Virgin Islands Red Cross Centre in Road Town, Tortola, supporting people who had been affected in his community. 

At a reception for organisations and individuals who played their part in helping during the aftermath of the natural disaster, The Prince met Sir Richard Branson, who remained in his home on Necker Island when the storm struck in September.

On his final day in the Caribbean, The Prince of Wales praised the resilience of the people of Dominica as he saw for himself the damage wreaked to the island by Hurricane Maria.

His Royal Highness stood among the ruins of Pichelin village, which was battered by torrential flooding and high winds in September, and sympathised with the residents who have remained.

Along with International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, The Prince of Wales walked through the village shaking the hands of locals and stopping to chat briefly and even watched a dance performance by local school children.

Khalin Thomas, 26, whose grandmother's general store was washed away said: "We managed to survive the hurricane somehow, the village is between two rivers - but luckily we're still here.

"The car next to my grandmother's store was across the street and the water just picked it up and tossed across the street."

Later in the day, The Prince visits Bellevue Chopin Farm and speaks to local farmers about how their business has been impacted following Hurricane Maria and visited Pointe Michel, where His Royal Highness was able to see the powerful effects of Hurricane Maria. A gorge opened up in the town following heavy rain and flash flooding.

The Prince of Wales views Bellevue Chopin Farm on Dominica