On their visit to West Africa, The Royals recognize the sacrifice made by African soldiers during the First and Second World Wars
- November 8, 2018
From 31st October to 8th November, 2018, the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were on a three-nation visit to Africa. Their Royal Highnesses visited The Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria.
Ahead of the Royal tour, The Prince of Wales had spoken about how much he was looking forward to the visit.
His Royal Highness had said:
“As my wife and I prepare to embark on our upcoming tour of The Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria, I did just want to take this opportunity to send you all our special greetings and to say just how much we are looking forward to meeting so many of you.”
Their Royal Highnesses’ visit, which was at the request and on behalf of the British Government, celebrated the U.K.’s dynamic, forward-looking partnerships with these Commonwealth Nations on a range of shared priorities.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall started their tour in The Gambia on 31st October. This visit celebrated The Gambia’s return into the Commonwealth in February this year. Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed to the country by the President of The Gambia, His Excellency Mr. Adama Barrow, at a ceremony in McCarthy Square in the Capital City of Banjul.
Key events in the programme included a visit to the Medical Research Council, which is a faculty of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The centre has undertaken pioneering research into malaria and other diseases which affect millions of people across Africa.
The visit by The Prince of Wales highlighted the key role the centre plays in the global fight to eliminate malaria.
The Prince of Wales also visited the Gambian Armed Forces Training Centre, where troops are trained for their role with the United Nations – African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur.
The Duchess of Cornwall’s programme included a visit to a school to meet young people aspiring to enter The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, which is the world’s oldest schools’ international writing competition, managed by The Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883.
For the past few years, The Duchess of Cornwall has presented certificates to winners and runners up of the Commonwealth Essay Prize, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, at a formal Awards Ceremony, which takes place at Buckingham Palace in November.
This was The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s first visit to The Gambia.
On November 2, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall started their visit to Ghana, which in 1957 became the first majority-ruled African country to join the Commonwealth, and today is a vital and valued partner for the U.K. Their Royal Highnesses’ visit highlighted the U.K.’s warm and enduring relationship with Ghana and the breadth of their dynamic contemporary partnership.
On arrival in the capital city of Accra, Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed at the Jubilee House by President Nana Akufo-Addo and the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo. Other key events in the programme in Accra included a State Banquet celebrating the ties between the UK and Ghana, attended by senior dignitaries in Ghana and prominent members of the British Ghanaian Diaspora as well as key figures from business, arts, culture and media.
The Prince attended a meeting with Ghanaian and International business leaders to discuss sustainable practice in Ghana’s cocoa industry and key environmental issues. His Royal Highness also visited the Christiansborg Castle, once a Danish, and then British, slave fort, which was – until a few years ago – the seat of Ghana’s Government after independence, to discuss the future restoration and reuse of the area, as part of a major redevelopment of Accra’s waterfront, conceived by the Ghanaian Government with the Architect Sir David Adjaye.
Their Royal Highnesses visited Ghana’s Second City of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region. On arrival in Kumasi, The Prince and The Duchess visited Manhiya Palace to meet The Asantehene (King of the Ashantis), His Majesty Osei Tutu II. The Prince and The Duchess attended a traditional durbar or procession at the Palace with The Asantehene and local chiefs.
The Duchess, who is President of the Women of the World Festival, also attended an event for a range of Ghanaian women of influence. The Women of the World festival (WOW) is a global festival movement founded by Jude Kelly CBE in London in 2010 celebrating women and girls, and looking at the obstacles that stop them from achieving their potential.
The Prince of Wales’s last official visit to Ghana was in March 1977. This was The Duchess of Cornwall’s first visit to Ghana.
On November 6, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall arrived in Abuja, Nigeria where they were welcomed by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa. During their visit to Nigeria, Their Royal Highnesses undertook a series of engagements in Abuja and Lagos where they had the opportunity to interact with a cross-section of Nigerians from Traditional Leaders to those in business, the arts, fashion, the armed forces and the charitable sector.
One central event was an arts festival at the British Council in Lagos to celebrate Nigeria’s thriving art scene and to mark the 75th anniversary of the British Council in Nigeria.
The Prince of Wales has made three previous official visits to Nigeria (March 1990, May 1999 and November 2006). This will be The Duchess of Cornwall’s first visit to Nigeria.
In all the three nations, Their Royal Highnesses took part in commemorative events to acknowledge the sacrifice made by Gambian, Ghanaian and Nigerian soldiers during the First and Second World Wars, and in more recent times during international peacekeeping missions.
This is The Prince of Wales’s first visit to Commonwealth Nations after the Commonwealth Heads of Government unanimously decided in April this year that he should succeed Her Majesty The Queen as the Head of the Commonwealth.
The Prince of Wales has visited 44 out of 53 Commonwealth nations. The Duchess has visited 18 Commonwealth nations with The Prince of Wales.
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