The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge started their royal tour of the Caribbean today.
The couple arrived in Belize after a nearly 11-hour flight from England. Below, the Duke and Duchess as they exited the RAF jet.
They were welcomed by dignitaries.
The officials included Governor-General Froyla Tzalam and her husband Daniel Mendez. (I believe Ms. Tzalam is on the far left in the image below.)
A wide shot of the scene at the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City. It was a sunny day with temperatures in the low 80s when the couple arrived.
The welcome included a band, dignitaries, and a military guard from the Belize Defence Force.
More from this Reuters piece.
Three miniature cannons fired a salute to the couple as their plane landed in Belize City before a military band played the national anthems of Belize and Britain at a welcoming ceremony that kept the media throng at a distance.
William inspected a guard of honor as the band played local creole song “Ding Ding Wala”…
The eight-day tour celebrates the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The pair will also visit Jamaica and the Bahamas during the trip.
In a news release about the tour, Kensington Palace said, “Their Royal Highnesses are keen to understand more about the impact that the pandemic has had across the Caribbean, and how communities have pulled together to respond to the challenges they have faced.
Belize is located in Central America, and tourism is a major economic factor. Here is a look at the country’s flag.
- Belize was known as British Honduras until 1973, and the country was granted independence in 1981.
- Belize is a parliamentary democracy, and Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state, represented by a governor-general who must be Belizean.
- It is the only English-speaking and Commonwealth country in Central America.
- The nation’s capital is Belmopan. The country’s population is 419,000.
- “Belize’s small but culturally diverse population is reflected in the country’s multiplicity of ethnicities, languages, religions, cuisines, styles of music and dress, and folklore. In total, seven languages are spoken in Belize, including English (the country’s official language), Kriol, Garifuna, Mandarin, Spanish, and Maya” per a Kensington Palace news release.
Prince Harry visited Belize (as well as Jamaica and the Bahamas) for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in March 2012.
The Queen visited in 1985 and 1994.
Embed from Getty Images
More about the Duke and Duchess’s trip from The Telegraph’s Hannah Furness.
They will travel in the same Jeep the Queen and Prince Philip used during a series of visits to the Caribbean that began with a trip to Jamaica six months after her coronation. Then, they stood in the back of the vehicle to wave at thousands of islanders who lined the route on the landmark tour.
Though they will be using the same car, the Duke and Duchess will swap waving duties for more modern engagements featuring children, hospitals, sports stars and the military.
A Ministry of Foreign Affairs news release noted the couple “will see Belize’s pioneering work in coral reef restoration.” The country has the second-largest barrier reef in the world.
The couple traveled alongside their 15-strong entourage and some U.K. media in the British government RAF Voyager jet across the Atlantic to Belize from an RAF base in England.The tour — their first joint official overseas tour since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — is being conducted on behalf of William’s grandmother the Queen and will see them bringing sentiments from the monarch to the people of the Caribbean, a royal source says.
We return to the People story.
It was revealed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had planned to visit a cocoa farm in the foothills of the Maya Mountains in Belize on Sunday, but that has now been canceled after villagers staged a protest about colonialism and the use of a football field by the royals for landing their helicopter.
A royal source confirmed that the visit had been canceled for “sensitive issues” involving the community in Indian Creek and the couple will now visit a different location.
After the airport ceremonies, the royals headed to a meeting with the Prime Minister, the Honourable Juan Antonio Briceño, often called Johnny Briceño. Rebecca English of The Daily Mail shared a video of the Cambridges arriving.
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) March 19, 2022
A view of the Duke and Duchess.
Here you see the Duke, Duchess, the Prime Minister, and his wife, Rossana, who is the country’s Special Envoy for Families and Children.
Kate Mansey of The Mail on Sunday reports, “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent nearly an hour chatting to the Prime Minister of Belize and his wife.” The Cambridges brought gifts that included a Fortnum and Mason hamper and Smythson stationery.
The couple as they left the meeting.
Now for our look at what Kate wore.
The Duchess wore a dress by Jenny Packham. The color would have been chosen with the deep blue of the Belize flag in mind. The piece features a deep v-neck, raised shoulders, an applied ribbon at the waist, three-quarter sleeves, a pencil skirt, and eyelash lace at the sleeve, peplum, and hem.
The lace very much resembles the Sophie Hallette lace used in the dress worn by the Duchess for Battle of the Somme Centenary events in July 2016. (Sophie Hallette made the lace used for Kate’s wedding gown and shoes.)
A look at the two waistlines.
It looks like the Duchess wore a new pair of heels by Emmy London, the ‘Rebecca’ in cobalt ($415).
The style is handmade in Portugal and features a pointed toe and 4.2″ heel.
The Duchess carried a new handbag today with scalloped edges echoing the dress’s lace. UPDATE: The bag is identified by multiple sources as an Anya Hindmarch design.
She wore an Amaia Kids mask when arriving for the meeting with the Prime Minister. The Duchess also wore the sapphire and diamond necklace and earrings seen at Thursday’s Commonwealth service.
This is the third time we have seen the necklace worn with the earrings.
7News Belize reports the couple will travel to Hopkins Village tomorrow. 7News also reports that on Monday, there will be an 11:30 am (that is 1:30 EDT, 5:30 pm in London) for an engagement at Caracol, the largest Maya city ever excavated in the country where they will “take in Caana, the ‘sky palace'” – still the tallest manmade structure in Belize. More from the story:
After that, things will take a familiar turn for Prince William who will visit BATSUB’s base in Chiquibul – were he did military training two decades ago.
From the sweltering forest to a Tony reception, the royal couple’s last engagement in Belize is a formal reception at the Cahal Pech Mayan site.
Tuesday the royals will travel to Jamaica.
We’ll leave you with one more photo of the Duchess.
Channel 5’s coverage of the arrival runs about 45 minutes. Video of the royals starts at roughly 29:20 into the video.
Here is a little more video of the couple arriving for their meeting with the Prime Minister shared by Richard Palmer of The Express.
This was them arriving. pic.twitter.com/uP1lC1hK5D
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) March 19, 2022