Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Josh Payne

Red carpet welcome as Edward and Sophie begin Jubilee tour in St Lucia

PA Wire

The Earl and Countess of Wessex arrived in Saint Lucia to a red carpet guard of honour as they began their seven-day tour of the Caribbean.

Sophie and Edward are also scheduled to visit two other nations, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, after the 11th hour postponement of the Grenada leg of their trip.

The Platinum Jubilee tour was organised to mark the Queen’s 70-year reign, and it comes shortly after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were criticised for some elements of their recent Caribbean tour, deemed to hark back to colonial days.

The Countess of Wessex at Hewanorra International Airport in St Lucia for the start of her and Edward’s visit to the Caribbean, to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (Joe Giddens/PA) (PA Wire)

Sophie and Edward were greeted in the sunshine by the deputy prime minister Dr Ernest Hilaire and the ADC to the governor general Captain Cyril Saltibus after they disembarked their British Airways flight at Saint Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport on Friday afternoon.

Sophie, wearing a red dress, joined her husband as they walked down the red carpet to a platform, where Edward stood to receive the guard of honour while the island’s police band performed the country’s national anthem.

The pair are also scheduled to meet the prime minister of Saint Lucia Philip Pierre and the acting governor general Cyril Errol Melchiades Charles later on Friday.

The week-long tour will see Sophie and Edward “meet communities, local entrepreneurs and craftspeople, and young people” as well as athletes training for the Commonwealth Games.

The Earl of Wessex at Hewanorra International Airport where the police band performed the country’s national anthem (Joe Giddens/PA) (PA Wire)

No further details were given for Thursday’s postponement of the Grenada leg of the tour.

It is understood that the planning of the royal tour involved discussions between the host countries, royal officials and other parties.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.