Prince Charles and Camilla touched down in the Caribbean’s “Spice Island” Grenada today for the final leg of their Royal tour.
Dame Cecile La Grenade, the country’s Governor General, greeted The Prince of Wales with a smile as he met her at the foot of the steps after their RAF State Voyager jet landed in the capital St. George’s.
The royal couple were there to cement established relations with the tiny Commonwealth Realm on the last leg of their 12-day tour of the Eastern Caribbean.
Dame La Grenade is the Queen’s representative on the island and will join the couple during their day-long tour.
Charles and Camilla have already visited St Lucia, Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines during a packed tour on behalf of the British Government.
In this post-Brexit era such visits are viewed by the Foreign Office as crucial for the country and aimed at strengthening ties with the Commonwealth nations.
First stop was the official welcome ceremony with Grenada’s premier Keith Mitchell at the country’s parliament building.
The Prince of Wales met Victoria Cross recipient Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry, an Iraq war veteran, during the visit.
The war hero praised The Prince of Wales and his sons Princes William and Harry for the way they are “embracing the Commonwealth”.
Lance Sgt Beharry was awarded Britain's highest military honour for twice saving colleagues while under fire during the Iraq war.
He said Charles passion for the association of 53 nations was helping to revive the Commonwealth which he claimed many had forgotten.
Asked about meeting the Prince, Lance Sgt Beharry said: “As you say his name I keep getting goosebumps I never thought in history I would be in Grenada with his royal highness at the same time.”
The Victoria Cross recipient, of the 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, known as the Tigers, spoke of the importance of Harry’s 2016 trip to Grenada and now his Charles’s visit too.
Johnson, still serving, added: “First we have Prince Harry and now with have His Royal Highness Prince Charles, I cannot really put it together in words how important it is to have the royal family visiting Grenada.
“With what’s going on with Brexit and everything else, to build a relationship with the Commonwealth, to show that there is a Commonwealth and to see the royal family’s actually embracing the Commonwealth – more or less recreating back the Foreign and Commonwealth.
“Because for years there was the word Commonwealth and no one knew, even myself, what it meant because there was no relationship and I know the reason why.
“Now is very important to raise the profile of the Commonwealth and bring the whole of the Commonwealth back together and the UK is showing…support to the Commonwealth.”
The Johnson Beharry Victoria Cross Foundation was established by Johnson Beharry VC who received the Victoria Cross - the highest military decoration - for twice saving members of his unit whilst serving in Iraq.
His foundation supports our Southwark Through the Gates Project. Established in December 2016, itsupports young men with gang affiliations with a connection to Southwark upon leaving prison to help prevent them drifting back into old lifestyles.
The couple were then shown about the artistry of making chocolate at the “House of Chocolate” - a thriving new business on the island and meet its manager and other chocolatiers.
The Prince and Duchess of Cornwall were greeted by 'chocolate educator,' Magdalena Field.
While Charles nodded as they heard the story of how the chocolate is made, Camilla's eyes drifted over to the dozens of bars of chocolate on display and she chose a selection to purchase.
Charles had to gently tap his wife on the shoulder to encourage her to move on from browsing to see the next showcase of desserts and carefully crafted truffles.
Charles joked: "They are all very good for you, I'm sure! Did you make all these yourselves, even the chocolate gold?"
The couple were then given some cocoa tea to try, but seemed surprised at the bitter taste. Camilla wasn't too keen, but Charles seemed to be a big fan and asked to finish hers as well, which he promptly did.
They were then given a whole selection of chocolate samples to try, which they greatly enjoyed. Flavours included charcoal roasted beans, dark with bee pollen, sea salt, nutmeg and spices.
Camilla was particularly taken with the bee pollen variety, while Charles was very keen on the spice- filled kind with milk chocolate, claiming the pairing was a particular favourite, according to staff there.
The couple also met local cocoa bean farmers. Charles seemed impressed and asked: "You grow all these?" He enquired what time of year was best for growing.
The couple were presented with a special chocolate picture book they were told was "for your grandchildren so they can follow" and a colossal hamper full of goodies.
Charles eyed up the chocolate liqueur, joking: "I might have to try some of that on the way back!"
The couple were given another huge bag of chocolate to take home for the Queen.
The Prince of Wales then attended a blue economy roundtable – something which is close to his heart.
He will join the discussion and is expected to hear from participants about their ideas for improving the stewardship of the waters of the Caribbean.