Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Sandra Falconer says it will cost the Government $3 million to host the Grandson of The Queen, His Royal Highness, Prince Henry of Wales (always known as Prince Harry), during his four day visit to the island.
Prince Harry will be visiting Jamaica between March 5 and 8 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of his grandmother, The Queen.
Speaking at a Jamaica House Press Briefing on Tuesday Feb. 29, Minister Falconer said the Prince’s activities while on the island will reflect his military pursuits and his interests in the welfare of children.
She informed that he will be accommodated at King’s House as the guest of Their Excellencies, the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen.
Prince Harry will arrive at the Norman Manley International Airport at 5:00 p.m. on March 5, where he will be accorded a 21-gun Royal salute and will inspect a Guard of Honour furnished by the First Battalion Jamaica Regiment of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).
The following day, Tuesday, March 6, Prince Harry will visit the Usain Bolt Track at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, where he will observe child athletes and young national athletes during a training session.
Prince Harry will then move on to the university’s Law Faculty, where he will witness a few minutes of a mock moot session. The Queen holds the title “Visitor” of the university, and Prince Harry will unveil a plaque there in honour of his grandmother’s Diamond Jubilee. The position of Visitor is considered to be the most senior official of the UWI.
Prince Harry will then visit children, parents and staff members at the Bustamante Hospital for Children. Lady Allen is involved in an outreach programme at the hospital and Their Excellencies will accompany Prince Harry. He will also unveil a plaque on the main entry building in honour of The Queen.
Prince Harry will then be hosted by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller at a lunch at the historic Devon House. He will then depart for the Victoria Jubilee Hospital and will unveil the statue, The Rings of Life, which marks three events in 2012: the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee; Jamaica’s Golden Jubilee as an independent nation; and the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Victoria Jubilee Hospital. The statue is the work of master sculptor, Basil Watson.
He will move to East Street, downtown Kingston, to visit the Rise Life Management Services, an independent non-governmental organisation dedicated to youth and community building. He will speak briefly with children preparing for the upcoming Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT); and view items manufactured by young entrepreneurs. After his tour, the Alpha Boys’ Band will join the children in a short cultural programme.
To end the second day of his visit, Prince Harry will hold separate audiences at King’s House, first with Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness, followed by the Prime Minister. There will be a State Dinner where Prince Harry is expected to give a toast to the government and the people of Jamaica. .
On Wednesday, March 7, Prince Harry will be wearing military uniform for his visit to Up Park Camp. The morning starts out with breakfast with fellow officers in the Infantry Officers’ Mess. Prince Harry will participate in the commissioning ceremony of the 60-foot rappelling and fast rope tower, which was built with technical co-operation from the Government of Canada. The Prince and two JDF soldiers will then practise rappelling from the tower. This will be followed by firearm practice.
Prince Harry will co-pilot a helicopter from the JDF Air Wing to the William Knibb Memorial High School playing field in Trelawny, and from there will commence an afternoon of sightseeing in the company of the Governor-General and Lady Allen.
During the tour, which starts on the Falmouth Pier, the Prince will spend a quiet moment at the William Knibb Memorial Baptist Church. After the tour, he will visit the Good Hope Great House.
Later that evening, Prince Harry will be treated to a Jamaica Night event on the Sandals Cay in Montego Bay. The event is being staged by the government in partnership with Sandals Resorts. Prince Harry ends his visit to Jamaica on Thursday afternoon (March 8), when he departs from the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.
Prince Harry’s visit to Jamaica is the final stop in his visits to Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean. The other two stops will be in Belize followed by The Bahamas. This is the first time that Prince Harry will be on official duty on behalf of The Queen. It is also his first time in the Caribbean.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter