Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 21, 2019 (SKNIS): The March 21, 2019, visit of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to St. Kitts and Nevis climaxed with a reception at Government House in St. Kitts where the Prince of Wales applauded the local Government for its leadership on many issues in the international arena.
The reception was hosted by Governor General His Excellency Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton, GCMG, CVO, QC, JP. and was attended by scores of specially invited guests. Among them were members of the Federal Parliament, senior government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, notable members of civil society and other dignitaries. Their Royal Highnesses also interacted with locals who received various honours and awards from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
One such person, was Charles Wilkin QC, who was bestowed a Companion of the Most Excellent Order of St. Michael and St. George Award in 2009. Mr. Wilkin noted that the twin-island Federation is a member of The Commonwealth and as such enjoys mutually beneficial relations with many member states in areas such as trade and investments.
“The Prince is in effect the Head of The Commonwealth now in substitution for Her Majesty and so I think it is important that we maintain those relations,” Mr. Wilikn said, while commenting on the significance of the visit.
Governor General Sir Tapley thanked Their Royal Highnesses for visiting St. Kitts and Nevis and welcomed them to Government House.
While at Government House, The Prince of Wales had a private meeting with Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris. Several pertinent matters were discussed. The Prince of Wales also took part in a tree planting ceremony on the grounds of Government House.
The Prince of Wales said that he was pleased to be back in St. Kitts and Nevis and witness the “eminent strength of the society” since the last time he was here some 46 years ago.
“Over all these years, I know that St. Kitts and Nevis has had such remarkable influence in this region and beyond, punching ‘as they say’ well above her weight,” The Prince of Wales said, adding that this was despite the country having the smallest population of any independent country in the Western Hemisphere.
He added that “as a consequence, the voice of St. Kitts and Nevis is heard and listened to on so many of the most pressing issues of our time,” and said that this and other reasons make the twin-island Federation a “much valued member of the Commonwealth.”
While in St. Kitts and Nevis, Their Royal Highnesses visited several historical sites. These included: the Berkeley Memorial erected in 1883; and the National Museum, which is housed in a building that was constructed in 1857. The Prince of Wales visited the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park – a 17th century fortress designed by the British and built by African slaves. The Prince of Wales was invited to unveil a plaque commemorating his visit to the fortress national park which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Duchess of Cornwall visited Hermitage Plantation, the oldest existing wooden house in the Caribbean, ca. 1670 in Nevis after Their Royal Highnesses attended a reception at Government House in Nevis.
Back in St. Kitts, following the reception at Government House at Camp Springfield, Their Royal Highnesses travelled to the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport at around 7 p.m. where the Governor General and Prime Minister bade them farewell.
Their Royal Highnesses are in the Caribbean for a 12-day tour of seven islands. The visit to St. Kitts and Nevis was preceded by visits to Saint Lucia, Barbados, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Other countries that will be visited on this tour are Grenada, Cuba and the Cayman Islands.