A speech by Prince Harry to open the Diamond Jubilee exhibition in the Bahamas
Published 04 March 2012
The Bahamas holds a special place in Her Majesty’s heart.
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!
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Let the party begin! "Mek wih go paaty" (in Kriol)