The Nelson’s Dockyard, not unfamiliar with British royalty, will be in the spotlight during the visit of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, on a tour of the Caribbean as part of celebrations to mark the diamond jubilee of the Queen’s coronation.
The royal highnesses Prince Edward and Princess Sophie will arrive aboard luxury yacht, The Leander, where they will be met on board by Governor General Dame Louise Lake Tack at new docking facilities in the Dockyard.
The royal couple will be met on the private dock by Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, who will introduce them to other members of Parliament.
A Guard of Honour, made up of members of the Defence Force and the Police Force, will be inspected by Prince Edward, after which a reception, attended by Commonwealth and Independence Awardees, will take place at the Copper and Lumber Store Hotel and Restaurant.
The royal couple will be taken on tour of key attractions in and around the Dockyard, including the Museum, where they will be introduced to resident Archaeologist Dr. Reg Murphy, and the Interpretation Center at Dows Hill.
The Countess of Wessex will attend a tree planting ceremony and join her husband for lunch hosted by Prime Minister Spencer at the Admiral’s Inn.
The time spent in the Dockyard by the royal couple is symbolic as the restored facilities once provided a home, a fortress and ship yard to the British Royal Navy centuries ago. The timing of their visit also bears significant as the Dockyard is celebrating its own milestone. Last year marked the golden anniversary of its restoration into a modern yachting facility.
The facility continues to operate as the only operating Dockyard from the Georgian period in the world, thanks to the ongoing effort to preserve the architectural integrity and the structure of the buildings.
The royal couple, on the second day of their visit will be taken on tour of other areas and facilities in Antigua to include the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre, the Princess Margaret Secondary school, the St. John’s Cathedral and the Adele School for Special Children.