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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Josh Payne

Edward and Sophie receive warm welcome on walkabout in Saint Lucia

PA Wire

The Earl and Countess of Wessex have received a friendly welcome to Saint Lucia as the couple went on a short walkabout in the town of Soufriere.

The reception was the warmest the couple have received on their Caribbean tour – with one man saying to Edward: “I salute you, my prince.”

The earl spoke to a road sweeper with a broom who was stood in front of the small crowd, and joked “I hope you keep this lot in order” while pretending to wave the broom.

The Earl of Wessex meeting locals in Soufriere, Saint Lucia (Joe Giddens/PA) (PA Wire)

Sophie and Edward were cheered as they left the area.

Wednesday’s welcome was markedly different to that received by the couple in St Vincent and the Grenadines, where they were met with banners of protest.

The earl and countess were also urged to use their “diplomatic influence” to provide “reparatory justice” by the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda during a visit to the country on Monday.

Sophie and Edward arrived at the Main Jetty in Soufriere by boat on Wednesday ahead of a busy schedule of engagements.

The countess was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Carlos Baptise, 11, who has a spinal injury called congenital scoliosis.

Edward and Sophie at the Fond Doux Cocoa Plantation (Joe Giddens/PA) (PA Wire)

The couple are also visiting the Fond Doux Cocoa Plantation and learning about the contribution of cocoa to Saint Lucia’s economy.

They will meet representatives from female-led businesses and hear about the impact of Covid-19 on trade and tourism.

The pair will then visit Sulphur Springs, where they will learn about the history and evolution of the volcano.

Sophie and Edward are scheduled to have lunch with Saint Lucia’s prime minister before travelling to the island’s Unesco World Heritage Site.

The couple will finish their engagements in Soufriere at the area’s Mini Stadium, where there is due to be a performance celebrating Saint Lucia’s young people.

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