Prince Harry will set foot in Belize on March 2, 2012 and will be in the country just short of a full day – 23 ½ hours to be precise. But according to the Foreign Affairs protocol office, it should be the best stop he makes on his Caribbean Tour of the Bahamas, Jamaica and Belize in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.
He is the second child of Prince Charles and Lady Diana and he is visiting Belmopan and San Ignacio during his whirlwind visit to Belize which his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II has set up for him; she picked Belize for Harry because of his free and adventurous spirit and humanitarian heart. So the government of Belize, along with the Belize Tourism Board, is organizing a packed schedule for the Prince to maximize his visit to the country. The good part is that the visit will be a less formal one which will engage him much more with the people of Belize and focusing less on a state level visit with more official ceremonial activities.
Prince Harry is scheduled to arrive in Belize on Friday, March 2, 2012, at 4:25p.m. on board a private jet at the Phillip Goldson International Airport where he will be received with a salute from the Belize Defense Force and meet officials at the VIP Lounge, including the Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca and British High Commissioner to Belize, Patrick Ashworth.
From there he departs to Belmopan where he will meet with the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young, when the commemorative stamps will be unveiled to the Prince. The major event where residents of Belize will be able to get a glimpse of the Prince will be at Belmopan’s Street Festival that will be open to the public. Prince Harry will deliver a speech on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II and the Cohune Walk will be re-named in honor of the Queen.
At the festival Prince Harry will be treated with traditional foods and presentations from the Mestizo, Creole and Garifuna cultures. The Street Festival will continue after the Prince’s expected departure at 8p.m.
The following day, Saturday, March 3, 2012, Prince Harry will be travelling to the OAS Adjacency Zone in the morning dealing with the children both from Belize and Guatemala, who participated in the OAS cultural program. He will interact with the children involved in the program and tour the immigration facility for an art exhibition.
The highlight of this day will be a visit to the Maya ruins of Xunantunich where he will be interacting with children from the Belize Special Olympics Program, immerse in the great Maya culture, enjoy musical and dance performances from Deer Dancers. After lunch the Prince will leave to the ferry crossing where he will present a Jubilee Canoe to the Ruta Maya Organization.
For the rest of the afternoon, Prince Harry departs to the Price Barracks, meet with the Belize National Coast Guard, BDF and BATSUB members. He will lay a wreath at a monument erected for British Soldiers who have passed away while on service in Belize, after which he is expected to leave Belize at 4p.m.
Diane Locke, Chief of Protocol Prince Harry’s Visit, stated that Belize is going to be the most exciting part of Prince Harry’s tour of the region as other countries have more official itineraries. It was also mentioned that the Prince is really excited to visit Belize. From Belize, the Prince will fly to Bahamas on March third, to Jamaica on the fifth and to Brazil on the ninth.
Local media is expected to cover the Prince’s visit with over 40 international media expressing interest in following him, with the possibility of providing live international coverage. Final preparations are still taking place and the Government of Belize is encouraging all Belizeans to join the celebration at the Street Festival. Surely Prince Harry’s visit to our beautiful country will be a significant and historical one for all of us to share with the world. Ambergris Today will be present during the Prince’s visit and will bring coverage to its readers.