By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-A Guard of Honour was on hand at Port Zante to welcome Prince Henry of Wales known to many as Prince Harry to St. Kitts and Nevis when he arrived in the Federation on Wednesday morning.
The 32 year old Prince arrived in St. Kitts before his scheduled time aboard his Royal Navy vessel with no one to greet him and had to wait until Governor General, His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton arrived moments after to greet him.
Overcast conditions did not hamper hundreds of cruise ship passengers, members of the general public and dozens of school children all gathered at the arrival hall at Port Zante to greet the Prince who is here is St. Kitts to represent Queen Elizabeth The Second as part of her 90th Birthday celebrations.
Prince Harry was welcomed by Head of State, Governor General, His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton, before he inspected the Guard of Honour that was made up of members of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force.
Following the inspection the Prince was greeted by Acting Prime Minister Shawn Richards who introduced the Royal Family member to high ranking government officials including members of Cabinet and Former Prime Ministers Sir Kennedy Simmonds and Dr. Denzil Douglas.
Prince Harry then took time to greet some of the members of the Audience who had flocked to meet him.The Prince also conversed with some of the children who were present. The Royal also received a drawing from a little girl that depicts a princess and wished another happy birthday.
The Prince and his motorcade then departed Port Zante and headed west towards Brimstone Hill where the Prince met up with hundreds of youth and witnessed a youth talent fest hosted by the Ministry of Youth as well as a cultural exhibition.
“On trips like this, I have the great privilege of meeting leaders and dignitaries from many fields. But what is most important to me, is having the chance to meet the young people of the countries I visit,” Prince Harry stated.
He added that there is no better way to judge the future of a country than by spending time with the youth.
“Taking the time to listen to what they have to say and understanding their vision for the nation they will inherit.”
The 32 year old also commended the youth for their performances in the cultural presentation.
“Those performances showed that the young people of St Kitts and Nevis have creativity and energy in bounds – two qualities that will set you up for the future. Well done and thank you for sharing your talent with us all.”
His Royal Highness also unveiled the St Kitts and Nevis dedication to The Queens Commonwealth Canopy Project,
“I am also really pleased to have the opportunity to thank the people of St Kitts and Nevis for committing the Central Forest Reserve to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. “
The Canopy project was launched last year and the entire Commonwealth have decided to provide forested lands to the “international environmental network.”
“Your contribution is incredibly generous. Not only will it encourage more visitors to this beautiful place, but will also give people around the Commonwealth the opportunity to learn about your forests and the ways you protect them. The forests we see behind us are truly amazing – thank you so much for contributing them to this project in the year of The Queen’s 90th birthday – and wow what a present.”
On his way to Brimstone Hill, the motorcade made stops at the grave site of Sir Thomas Warner the First Governor of St. Kitts and Nevis as well as at the Half Way Tree Pre-school where The Prince interacted with the young students.
He then made his way over to Nevis where he was expected to visit a local turtle conservation initiative on Lovers Beach and inspect the turtle nests along the beach, many of which can include up to 500 turtle eggs per nest.
Later that day Prince Harry was scheduled to attend a reception hosted by the Governor General and meet young leaders and people from St Kitts and Nevis including the Commonwealth Youth organisations as well as other outstanding youth in the Federation.
Prince Harry is on a 14 day, seven country visit to the Caribbean that started on Sunday in Antigua and will visit St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados and Guyana.