By Carlena Knight
Preparations are underway as Antigua and Barbuda gears up to welcome members of the British royal family later this month.
The news was confirmed by the British High Commission which said the tour is expected to run from April 22-28 with Prince Edward and Sophie Countess of Wessex also stopping in Grenada, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
A full agenda for their visit to Antigua and Barbuda has not yet been announced but Observer media can confirm that the royal couple will be guests at Government House on the morning of April 25 for an event dubbed ‘Showcasing our Nation; Saluting Our People’.
The affair will feature a display of the country’s national symbols, a snippet of creative pieces and expressions of the Antiguan and Barbudan people. An investiture ceremony will also take place during the event.
The royals’ visit is in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s historic Platinum Jubilee as the longest serving British monarch and titular head of the Antiguan and Barbudan state.
They will be the second pair of royals to tour the region as part of jubilee celebrations; Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, recently wrapped up their Caribbean excursion during which they visited Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas.
British news outlets are reporting some anxiety in Buckingham Palace surrounding the trip, after Prince William and wife Kate’s tour raised the ire of some, as it was plagued by calls for reparations over Britain’s role in the slave trade and to dump the Queen as head of state.
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, is the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
He is 14th in the line of succession to the British throne.