Prince Harry is representing his grandmother, Her Majesty the Queen, in her Diamond Jubilee year on an overseas trip to Belize. The prince’s trip coincides with that of his aunt and uncle, Edward and Sophie, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, who were the first to depart when they left for the West Indies on February 21st. His Royal Highness arrived in Belize City and was greeted with a red carpet, various dignitaries and a performance of the British National Anthem by an army band. His trip will also include the Commonwealth realms of the Bahamas and Jamaica.
Residents in Belize are very excited to welcome Prince Harry, according to the Telegraph, and local television stations are lending “blanket coverage” to his visit. He plans to re-name a street in the capital city of Belmopan as HM Queen Elizabeth II Boulevard, and will be taught a traditional folk dance. He is also invited to a local street party, where he will sample local rums, fruit wines, and beers. Belize was formerly known as British Honduras, and was granted independence in 1981. However, British military forces continued to protect Belize from Guatemalan invasion until Guatemala signed a treaty recognizing Belize’s independence in 1991.
The Diamond Jubilee festivities are an incredibly important, proud occasion for the members of the British Commonwealth, as they celebrate HM Queen Elizabeth II’s sixty years on the throne. Members of the British public will organize street parties and fetes; there will be a parade for Her Majesty and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh as well as the families of veterans, a pageant, museum and gallery exhibitions, and an extra bank holiday. The public is welcome to make donations to a new charitable trust, The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust. The celebrations surround a central weekend at the beginning of June, Saturday the 2nd through Tuesday the 5th, and on June 4th there will be a televised Concert at Buckingham Palace organized by the BBC.
The British commonwealth is very large, and other members of the royal family have been asked by the Queen to visit commonwealth realms in her stead throughout 2012. Prince Harry’s older brother William, the Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, will visit Malaysia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu. The princes’ father, the Prince of Wales, willÂ—with his wife, the Duchess of CornwallÂ—be visiting Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. For their own part, Her Majesty and Prince Philip will be touring England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as widely as possible.