Royal Visit to Bequia!

Yesterday was quite exciting on this small island when a visit was made by Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, as part of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations this year.

I wore a hat and my Bequia necklace, white linen pants – something suitable for meeting royalty in a tropical climate.

Here’s their Royal Navy frigate arriving mid-afternoon…

Pam and I set off for town shortly after this and had perfect ring-side seats for later when we knew everyone would be passing by along the Belmont Walkway to attend a reception at the Frangipani Hotel. There were police everywhere, as would be expected, and one in full dress uniform stood on guard at the entrance to the walkway next to Tommy’s – and their ad for this new novel set on Bequia… perhaps you’ve heard of it?

We knew the launch would soon be arriving at the jetty when these five or six sunfish were launched and began sailing around in the harbour. Here’s a view of the walkway looking towards the Frangi, which is right by the dock, and the Royal launch arriving at the jetty, where all the officials had been standing waiting to greet the Royals.

After speeches were delivered and all dignitaries met, hands shaken, etc., the entire group walked from the jetty over to where we were waiting by the railing at Tommy’s…

They really did take their time, stopping to chat with everyone along the way. After snapping this picture, I put down the camera, took off my sunglasses, and as Sophie came up to us and made eye contact, I said, “Hello! I’m from Canada!” She was very pleased to hear that, and Edward asked where in Canada. “Calgary,” I said. He commented that it’s not often you hear of people from the western provinces visiting the Caribbean, and then they carried on. My fleeting moment of engagement with royalty, but it was fun! I wish I’d had time to tell them that I saw Will & Kate last year when they visited the Stampede, and his brother Andrew when he came to Queen’s on his way to school at Lakefield, and that I played in my high school band for his mother at Toronto City Hall. (Not that I would have told them all that, but it was fun reminiscing about my other royal “encounters” I’ve had during my life.)

And, on his way past, I managed to click a picture of Sir James, former prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and owner of the Frangipani Hotel. When I was teaching literacy at the high school, I invited Sir James to speak to the students about the importance of reading and he gave us a list of some of his favourite books he enjoyed as a student.

After all the hoopla, Pam and I returned to a much quieter side of the island, Friendship Bay, for dinner and a movie at her house, and we found the Martini Brothers right where we expected they would be…

2 responses

  1. Terry Rahbek-Nielsen

    Royal adventure! And the best picture is the one of the Martini brothers. Looks like all’s very well in their world! –and here
    the snow just keeps coming!

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