Prince Harry has arrived in Belize for his leg of the international Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tour. The week-long visit is to Belize, the Bahamas and Jamaica, with a non-Jubilee add-on tour of Brazil. The trip marks Prince Harry’s first official solo tour on behalf of the British Royal Family. It also forms part of a huge effort to send representatives of the Queen to her 15 overseas realms and a number of “friendly” countries through 2012.
The tour kicked off last month with the Earl and Countess of Wessex, who started two weeks in the Caribbean with St. Lucia and will be underway until March 8. Their travels were largely ignored by the international media, though Prince Harry’s segment is not likely to meet the same fate. (Story continues below.)
The team at Ambergris Today is live blogging, tweeting and otherwise covering Prince Harry’s brief tour of the country. Prince Harry will have a full day in Belize on Saturday, which include a trip to Mayan ruins. Though “The Telegraph” perpetuates the common misconception that the Mayans predicted the world would end later this year, in reality this December’s ending simply marks the end of a long cycle of their calendar, and the beginning of a new one.
The prince looked tired in the first photographs filtering through of him listening to a rendition of the National Anthem, but jumped straight into his work afterward. According to the BBC, the prince has already started his work by naming a road in Belmopan, Belize’s capital, the Queen Elizabeth II Boulevard.
Once called British Honduras, Belize is a former British colony but has been independent since 1981, but still hosts British forces and maintains close ties with the United Kingdom. The South American country is a member of the Commonwealth, of which the Queen is titular head.
Prince Harry will visit the Bahamas and Jamaica, which last is considering dropping the Queen as its head of state; the Jubilee section of the tour then over, he will make overtures in Brazil regarding joint ventures in support of Sentebale. He will also work as a trade ambassador in the same way that Prince Andrew used to, before he was discredited.
Governor-general Sir Colville Young was on hand to meet the prince when he arrived this afternoon, along with a guard of honor. Sir Colville took Prince Harry to a street party where he had a chance to sample some local cuisine. He also had a meeting with the governor-general and Belize’s prime minister, Dean Barrow.
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- Prince Harry sees art and history in Belize
Sources and further reading : BBC; Telegraph; Ambergris Today; Court Circular, Belize Travel Examiner
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