On Sunday 20th November, the National Parks Authority hosted the heir to the British throne, His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales.
This was the first official visit of Prince Charles to Antigua and Barbuda. He recalls being here before but as a member of the Royal Navy.
Bringing him to Antigua and Barbuda this time was the dreadful disaster in Barbuda, which was left devastated by the passage of hurricane Irma in September.
A visit to our shores would be incomplete without taking in the familiar history of the centuries old edifices that have been skilfully and remarkably restored by the National Parks Authority.
Prince Charles was an eager and curious visitor as he was taken on tour of the beautifully restored Clarence House and the Nelson’s Dockyard. Leading the tour was our very own Dr. Reg Murphy and he was joined by Governor General Sir Rodney Williams, Tourism Minister the Hon. Charles Fernandez, Chairman of the NPA board, Mr. Arthur Thomas and Parks Commissioner Mrs. Ann Marie Martin.
He inquired every step of the way about the incredible history of the park and the amazing work that has been done in restoring its forts and centuries old buildings to their former glory.
In a tribute to the work in preserving an important part of our history, the park gained the distinction of being named by the United Nations a world heritage site.
At the foot of the Royal Palm that was planted by his mother on a visit over sixty years ago, Prince Charles unveiled a plaque that officially spells out the distinguished designation.
He was almost spell bounded when he saw a photo of a much younger self in the Dockyard Museum. He could hardly conceal his amazement at the photo which has been hanging in the Museum for many years as not even him could recall when and where the photo was taken.
After greeting and chatting with visitors, locals and employees of the park, Prince Charles bade a cheerful farewell after time well spent in one of the best places to visit in the entire Caribbean.