A social media campaign called #NoMyPrince may be gaining steam online, but Prince Harry is proving a big hit with the locals he meets so far on his 15-day tour of the Caribbean.
Ignoring the growing anti-colonial sentiment in the region, Harry has turned on the charm, dancing with local children and even taking a turn at the cricket crease, much to the delight of fans.
The 32-year-old prince received a red carpet welcome in Antigua when he was serenaded by a military band at V.C. Bird International Airport following a first-class British Airways flight from London.
View this post on Instagram
Prince Harry has arrived in Antigua and Barbuda at the start of his #RoyalVisit to seven countries in the Caribbean – and we want you to share your photos of his visit with us! Prince Harry will visit Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados and Guyana, all marking significant independence anniversaries in 2016. Prince Harry will also make day trips to St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada as part of his Caribbean visit. Share your photos of Prince Harry’s visit using the #hashtags for each country: #RoyalVisitAntiguaBarbuda #RoyalVisitStKitts #RoyalVisitStLucia #RoyalVisitStVincent #RoyalVisitGrenada #RoyalVisitBarbados #RoyalVisitGuyana #RoyalVisitCaribbean
Dressed in a single-breasted navy suit and light-blue tie, Harry formally inspected a guard of honour during a military parade at the airport before moving on to attend a welcome reception hosted by the Governor General Sir Rodney Williams.
During a welcome speech, the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism minister, Asot Michael, reminded Harry that he and brother Prince William were brought to Barbuda by their late mother, Princess Diana, for holidays.
“We are truly pleased to welcome you back to a place of childhood memories, your home in the Caribbean,” he said.
At the evening reception in Antigua’s Clarence House, Harry enjoyed cultural performances and took time to acknowledge the Queen and Prince Philip’s 69th wedding anniversary, which occurred on the same day.
He read a letter from the Queen, which said, “Prince Philip and I send our warmest wishes to Antigua and Barbuda on the occasion of this celebration to mark 35 years of independence.
“I will never forget the warmth of your people and the incredible natural beauty of the islands. It has been a great privilege for me to watch Antigua and Barbuda develop into the confident country it is today with a strong national identity and a positive outlook. I congratulate all of you for the part you have played in building this community and creating so many opportunities for the next generation.”
Harry is touring six countries where the Queen is official head of state — Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines — and also the Commonwealth nation of Guyana.
During his visit, the prince — who is travelling with an entourage of 10, but without girlfriend Meghan Markle — will mark the 50th anniversary of independence for Barbados and meet Rihanna at a concert marking the occasion on November 30.
Republican sentiments run strongly through some of the island nations, however, and the Prince has been warned about the possibility of protests.