Red carpet welcome as Prince Edward and Sophie begin Jubilee tour in St Lucia

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Sophie and Edward arrive in St Lucia  (PA)
Sophie and Edward arrive in St Lucia (PA)

The Earl and Countess of Wessex arrived in Saint Lucia to a red carpet guard of honour as they began their seven-day tour of the Caribbean.

Sophie and Edward are also scheduled to visit two other nations, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, after the 11th hour postponement of the Grenada leg of their trip.

The Platinum Jubilee tour was organised to mark the Queen’s 70-year reign, and it comes shortly after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were criticised for some elements of their recent Caribbean tour, deemed to hark back to colonial days.

Sophie and Edward were greeted in the sunshine by the deputy prime minister Dr Ernest Hilaire and the ADC to the governor general Captain Cyril Saltibus after they disembarked their British Airways flight at Saint Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport on Friday afternoon.

Sophie, wearing a red dress, joined her husband as they walked down the red carpet to a platform, where Edward stood to receive the guard of honour while the island’s police band performed the country’s national anthem.

The pair are also scheduled to meet the prime minister of Saint Lucia Philip Pierre and the acting governor general Cyril Errol Melchiades Charles later on Friday.

The week-long tour will see Sophie and Edward “meet communities, local entrepreneurs and craftspeople, and young people” as well as athletes training for the Commonwealth Games.

No further details were given for Thursday’s postponement of the Grenada leg of the tour.

It is understood that the planning of the royal tour involved discussions between the host countries, royal officials and other parties.

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