Prince William and Kate visit Belize, the Bahamas and Jamaica, home island of reggae legend Bob Marley. It is hoped that their trip will convince the three nations to keep the Queen as head of state
Image: Getty Images)
Prince William and Kate are set to arrive in the Caribbean today in a royal charm offensive.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge aim to win hearts and minds in Belize, the Bahamas and Jamaica.
It is hoped their trip will persuade the three nations to keep the Queen as head of state – in contrast to nearby Barbados, which became a republic last year.
They intend to engage with historical cultures by competing in a sailing regatta and dancing to the tunes of Jamaican legend Bob Marley.
In the royal family’s first major tour abroad since the pandemic began, William and Kate’s eight-day tour will mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee.
Kensington Palace said it will also celebrate the relationship between each nation and the Queen during her 70-year reign.
It added that the trip will “include projects undertaken to address challenges faced by local communities”.
There will also be a focus on issues dear to the Duke and Duchess, including the environment and early childhood development.
The pair are scheduled to start the tour in Belize this afternoon.
On Monday they travel to Caracol, the ancient Mayan archaeological site deep in the Chiquibul Forest.
Alamy Stock Photo)
They then visit a farm in the foothills of the Mayan Mountains and learn about the precious barrier reef along the country’s coast.
William will also take a trip down memory lane as he and the Duchess spend time in the jungle with the British Army Training Support Unit. In 2000 William spent time with Batsub in charge of the Welsh Guards.
The royals will also follow in the Queen’s footsteps as they retrace her journey to the Mayan ruins of Cahal Pech near San Ignacio, which Her Majesty visited in 1994.
On Tuesday, William and Kate will visit Trench Town, the birthplace of Bob Marley, in Jamaica, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary of independence later this year.
Later you will see the Jamaica Defense Force in action.
Kate will also attend a teaching college to learn more about Jamaica’s work on early childhood development, a topic close to her heart and a cornerstone of her campaigning work in recent years.
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In the Bahamas, the pair will compete during Friday’s Platinum Jubilee Sailing Regatta.
You’ll also visit a coral farm focused on reef restoration. The farm was named one of five winners of the Duke’s £1million inaugural Earthshot Prize last year.
A spokesman for the Cambridges said: “The Duke and Duchess are very much looking forward to visiting the Caribbean region during the Platinum Jubilee year and having the opportunity to thank the communities across Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas for the support they are giving to Her Majesty throughout the year have shown their dominion.
“These are three countries with which Her Majesty has an extremely cordial relationship, having made several visits during her reign.
“These trips have helped provide inspiration for many of the engagements Their Royal Highnesses will perform during their tour.
“In addition to thanking the people of Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas for their support, the Duke and Duchess’ program during this eight-day tour will focus on celebrating the rich cultures unique to these three countries.”
Royal attention is now more needed than ever after Barbados became a republic within the Commonwealth last November.
Popular with tourists and the wealthy, the island was settled by the English in 1625. The monarch remained head of state even after independence in 1966.
The Queen is said to have been saddened by the departure of the island known as ‘Little England’, in a ceremony watched by a ‘regrettable’ Prince of Wales.
A source said: “The Duke and Duchess will no doubt be aware that the people they meet and interact with during the trip have the ability to determine their future as King and Queen of this Nations will rule or not.”
There had been nervousness in the palace about whether the conflict in Ukraine would stop further travel.
Both the Cambridges and the Prince of Wales have expressed dismay at Russia’s brutal invasion of its peaceful neighbour.
William and Kate described how their children are being affected by the Ukrainian refugee crisis during a visit to a relief center in London.
Speaking to volunteers at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Holland Park, west London, William, 39, said: “We all have your back.”
A spokesman for the couple said they have stayed “alive” through the ongoing crisis.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/prince-william-kate-visit-caribbean-26504461 Prince William and Kate are visiting the Caribbean to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee