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Earl, Countess of Wessex visit for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Earl, Countess of Wessex visit for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee


Parliamentarians, government officials, and other prominent citizens were among those present at the cruise ship berth for the official welcome of The Earl and Countess of Wessex on Saturday, February 25, 2012.{{more}}

Prince Edward and his wife were in the country for a one-day visit, in honour of the 60th anniversary of the ascension to the throne of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The couple arrived aboard the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fort Rosalie, and were escorted from the vessel to the berth by Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and his wife Eloise Gonsalves and Chairperson of the Diamond Jubilee organizing committee Rene Baptiste.

After being officially welcomed and presented with a bouquet by young Cristal Craigg, the Earl and Countess were briefly introduced to each of the invited guests by the prime minister and the organizing commitee chairperson.

Sir Frederick welcomed the couple, wishing them a fruitful visit and expressing congratulations to the Queen on her 60 years of reign, on behalf of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Prince Edward, making remarks on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II, stated that the Queen has been watching the progress of St Vincent and the Grenadines with “great interest” and hopes that SVG will continue in its achievements.

“She really wants you to know how much she appreciates the fact that you continue to look to her as your Queen and as your Head of State and she appreciates the loyalty that you have shown to her over all these years,” Prince Edward added. He further conveyed the Queen’s blessing on the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

After the brief welcoming ceremony, the Earl and Countess, escorted by Sir Frederick and Baptiste, made a “royal walkabout”, during which they greeted girl guides, brownie guides, rangers, boy scouts, guiders and other youth leaders who lined the walkway leading to the Cruise Ship Berth.

The children smiled radiantly and offered their welcomes to both the Prince and Princess as the couple interacted with them, at times stopping to take photos with the eager children.

The first ‘Royal walkabout’ took place during the visit by Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh to Australia and New Zealand in 1970. The practice was introduced to allow them to meet as many people as possible, not simply officials and dignitaries.

Many of the official tours of the Royal family in the past were undertaken on the Royal Yacht Britannia, rather than on a navy ship such as the RFA Fort Rosalie. The Royal Yacht Britannia was launched by Her Majesty on April 16, 1953 and was commissioned for service on January 7, 1954. It was de-commissioned in December, 1997. During this time, Britannia travelled more than a million miles on Royal and official duties.