His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Henry of Wales (always known as Prince Harry) has extended appreciation to the Government and people of Jamaica for the warm welcome extended to him since his arrival in the island.
He was speaking at a State Dinner hosted by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen in his honour, Tuesday March 6 at King’s House.
The Prince, who arrived in the island on Monday (March 5) on a four-day visit to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, said that Jamaica and its people have retained a place in the heart of the Queen since she first visited the island 59 years ago.
“Sorry, she could not be here and you’re stuck with me, ‘but every little thing is gonna be alright’, he said to laughter from the dignitaries gathered for the black-tie event.
The affable and charming Prince, who earlier in the day, raced with sprint sensation, Usain Bolt and danced with children from inner-city communities at Rise Life Management Services, downtown Kingston, stated that the country’s vibrancy and vigor, hospitality and natural beauty “all combine to make Jamaica unique”.
“The Queen recognised this early in her life and has communicated her very high regard for Jamaica and Jamaicans through successive generations of her family. As a representative of the younger generation, I see fully what my grandmother means. This is truly an exciting place to be; Jamaicans are exciting people to be around especially when they run the 100 meters in 9.58 seconds,” he said in reference to Bolt’s 100 metre World Record.
“I haven’t been here for long, but if I had, I’m not sure my grandmother would get me to come back,” he stated.
Prince Harry said he was grateful for the heartfelt way in which Jamaicans have embraced the Diamond Jubilee and have helped to celebrate it.
He paid tribute to his grandmother for her lifetime of service to others. “It is truly an inspiration how she combines all her virtues as a leader, and as Head of State and those of being a wonderful, caring grandmother,” he stated.
Among those at the black-tie dinner were: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; Cabinet and other Ministers of Government; Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness; Former Governor General, the Most Hon. Professor Sir Kenneth Hall; Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga; leaders of business and civil society; and members of the diplomatic corps.
On Wednesday (March 7), Prince Harry will participate in a military exercise at the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) headquarters and oversee the dedication of the JDF’s Rappelling Tower. He will co-pilot a helicopter to Falmouth where he will visit the William Knibb Baptist Church, Good Hope Great House and the Falmouth Pier. He will also attend a Jamaica night reception and show at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay.