Published 4 March 2012

The Bahamas holds a special place in Her Majesty’s heart.

Prince Harry

Good afternoon, Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen – people of the Bahamas and visitors to these lovely islands.‬‪‬‪

I stand before you with a deep sense of pride at being asked to convey to you a message of good wishes from The Queen on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee. ‬‪

The Bahamas holds a special place in Her Majesty’s heart. Her love for this realm and you, the Bahamian people, stretches back over the decades, right to that first visit in 1966.‬‪

During the sixty years of my Grandmother’s reign, the Bahamas has flourished: in education, where 90% of your teachers are Bahamian-trained;‬‪ in sport, where you plan to send a team to London for the Olympics; your development and infrastructure, which has seen such rapid growth, both in public works and such forward-looking projects as The Elizabeth Estates, which are named after my grandmother. These provide good, low-cost housing to Bahamian families. ‬‪

The Bahamas has made these huge strides, guided with surety by its political leaders and its eight Bahamian Governors-General - from Sir Milo Butler to Sir Arthur Foulkes. ‬‪‬‪As a country, its growth and prosperity are matched only by its continuing power of welcome.‬‪

I am greatly looking forward to the next 24 hours and the chance to explore and meet more of the people of these stunning islands.

I hope, for me, that this is the first of many visits.

I’ll certainly be showing off about it to my brother and sister-in-law when I return home.‬‪

In the meantime, it gives me great pleasure to be here, to see this wonderful photographic exhibition being staged in honour of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

If I may, I would like to conclude by quoting back at you your own motto, which so encapsulates The Queen’s extraordinary life-long commitment to service and community: ‘Forward, Upward, Onward, Together.’‬‪‬‪

I declare - on behalf of Her Majesty - the Jubilee Exhibition open!‬‪