Prince Edward thanks St. Kitts and Nevis for ‘wonderful and unique welcome,’ congratulates cultural performers

Nevis masquerades perform for the Royal Couple, invited guests and the public.
The Mock Jumbies perform for the Royal Couple, invited guests and the public.
Sack Cloth and Ashes performs for the Royal Couple, invited guests and the public.
The Cayon High School Steelband plays the National Anthem

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MARCH 7TH 2012- Britain’s Prince Edward has expressed thanks to the Government and People of St. Kitts and Nevis for a wonderful and unique welcome.

“This is the first time I’ve managed to get here. I have no idea why? I don’t know why. I have been coming to the region for many years, but why I have never been able to get here to your beautiful islands, I am not too sure. But at long last I have go there. And thank you for this fantastic welcome.”

Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and his wife, Princess Sophie, the Countess of Wessex in his brief remarks congratulated and thanked the masquerades of Nevis, the Mocko Jumbies of St. Kitts and Sack Cloth and Ashes for their outstanding performances. The Cayon High School Steelband also played the National Anthem.

He said he was particularly impressed with the masqueraders.

“It is quite evident from their headdresses they don’t normally do this in a force 10 gale. They did remarkably well. I was also quite impressed with the mocko Jumbies, because I don’t think they perform normally in a force 10 gale either. They did very well to stay up there and I thought I would have seen then sail off into the distance, much like this tent any minute now,” quipped Prince Edward, who also praised Sack Cloth and Ashes for his calypso.

“That is a very unique commemoration of the Jubilee. I have to confess I will do my best to pass that on. But I am not sure that any rendition that I can give her will do any justice at all, but I think that is very unique and you have to have the right person to do that,” said Prince Edward, who apologised for the absence of his mother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and that is a “real and distinct honour and a privilege for Sophie and I to be here.”

“She is extremely sorry that she can’t be here in person, and I hope that you’ll accept us as rather poor substitutes. We do come here as very firm friends, and we will do our best to capture all your expressions of loyalty and friendship and take those back with us. Her Majesty takes a very keen and special interest in St. Christopher and Nevis and all that the people of these two wonderful islands do. She’s extremely proud of all your achievements s over the years and this is another achievement of yours which I know she will be particularly be delighted to know that you are renaming this park and giving this area of outstanding natural beauty and importance to you this special status in this year,” said Prince Edward.

He said that the Queen was very touched by the loyalty of St. Kitts and Nevis and “you have for so long and continue to want her to be your Head of State and how much she appreciates that. Her affection towards you remains as strong and as constant as the day 60 years ago when she acceded to the Throne and pledge to dedicate her life to the service of the people of her Realms and Territories. Particularly in her 60th year of her reign Her Majesty wishes for me to convey her fervent prayer that God’s blessing will continue to fall upon the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and that success will accompany all your national endeavours.”

Her Royal Highness Princess Sophie (second from the right) speaks with St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister The Right Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas during the cultural performance. Left is Governor General His Excellency Dr. Sir Cuthbert Sebastian and second from left is Prince Edward. Her Royal Highness Princess Sophie (right) holds her breath as the Mock Jumbies perform.
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