The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were all smiles as they arrived in the Caribbean for the start of a major tour which has sparked controversy among local residents.
William and Kate‘s plane touched down in Belize after opposition from villagers, who cited a range of issues including objections to the couple’s helicopter landing site, forced a royal trip to a farm on Sunday to be scrapped.
The couple looked relaxed after their 11-hour long haul trip from the UK and were welcomed by Belize’s Governor General Froyla Tzalam as they stepped from the Voyager ministerial jet ahead of an official meeting with prime minister Johnny Briceno.
The tour is marking the Queen‘s Platinum Jubilee and highlights of the visit will see the couple renew their friendly sporting rivalry when they take to the waters for a sailing regatta in the Bahamas in honour of the monarch’s 70-year reign.
In Jamaica they will celebrate the island’s musical and sporting heritage, with speculation rife Usain Bolt may be involved, and in Belize they will tour stunning historical sites.
The Belize Defence Force formed a guard of honour to greet the couple and, after military tunes were played by the unit’s band, William inspected the personnel.
Watching was Kate who wore a blue Jenny Packham dress as the warm spring sunshine beat down.
A Kensington Palace spokeswoman said the couple were “very much looking forward to visiting the Caribbean region” and to having the opportunity to thank communities across Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas for the support they had shown the Queen.
Like previous tours William has discussed the trip with the Queen and will be relaying sentiments from his grandmother in his speeches. The Cambridges have also met experts as they prepared for the visit.
The Duke is likely to have a follow-up chat with the Queen when he returns, passing on good wishes from dignitaries who the couple meet on their travels.