Prince Edward and Sophie postpone visit to Grenada at short notice

Prince Edward and Sophie postpone visit to Grenada at short notice

A planned visit by the Earl and Countess of Wessex to Grenada has been postponed at the 11th hour, just one day before the couple embark on their six-day platinum jubilee tour of the Caribbean and weeks after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s controversial visit to the region.

No explanation for the late postponement was given by Buckingham Palace, which followed a consultation with the government of Grenada and on the advice of the governor general.

It is highly unusual for a royal visit, traditionally long in the planning, to be cancelled at such short notice.

Edward and Sophie will begin their tour on Friday, and were scheduled to visit Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines from 22-28 April. Announcing that Grenada was to be dropped, Buckingham Palace said the couple hoped to visit at a later date.

‘We have to be seen to be believed’: the endurance of the royal tour

The suggestion to postpone was made by Grenada after advice from the governor general, who is the Queen’s representative on the island. Royal aides have not elaborated on the reasons.

It is understood it followed discussions between the palace and the host Caribbean countries over the couple’s itinerary. Part of the process was to ensure the itinerary would meet the aims of the couple’s tour, which are to celebrate the islands as well as marking the Queen’s platinum jubilee. It was during those discussions that the postponement was then suggested.

It comes after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge faced some criticism and protests on their recent tour of Belize, the Bahamas and Jamaica, with some calling for the three countries to become republics. The prime minister of Jamaica told the couple that his country was looking to a future without the monarchy.

Grenada gained independence in 1974 and the Queen remains head of state. Its centre-left opposition party, the National Democratic Congress, has previously said it would put the question of the removal of the Queen as head of state to the people in a referendum on constitutional change if it came to power. The NDC was the governing party from 2008-13 but lost its seats in 2013 to the New National party.

Edward and Sophie are due to meet communities, local entrepreneurs, craftspeople, and young people during the tour in celebration of the culture, future and vibrancy of the islands. Edward will meet athletes in training for the Commonwealth Games, and Sophie will meet female leaders.

In Antigua and Barbuda, they will meet some of the West Indies’ famous cricketers, and the national rowing team. In St Lucia, they will attend a service to mark the Queen’s 70-year reign.

… we have a small favour to ask. Millions are turning to the Guardian for open, independent, quality news every day, and readers in 180 countries around the world now support us financially.

We believe everyone deserves access to information that’s grounded in science and truth, and analysis rooted in authority and integrity. That’s why we made a different choice: to keep our reporting open for all readers, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. This means more people can be better informed, united, and inspired to take meaningful action.

In these perilous times, a truth-seeking global news organisation like the Guardian is essential. We have no shareholders or billionaire owner, meaning our journalism is free from commercial and political influence – this makes us different. When it’s never been more important, our independence allows us to fearlessly investigate, challenge and expose those in power. Support the Guardian from as little as $1 – it only takes a minute. If you can, please consider supporting us with a regular amount each month. Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.