Prince Charles visits Barbudans displaced by Irma


The Prince of Wales lifted the spirits of staff and pupils at a shelter in Antigua and Barbuda on the first day of his tour of the hurricane-ravaged nation.

He was given a red-carpet welcome when he landed on Friday afternoon before being taken to Antigua’s National Technical Training Centre which is serving as a shelter for those made homeless by hurricane Irma.

Prince Charles lifted morale by sharing jokes with staff and greeting boys and girls who looked delighted to meet the heir to the throne.

He also talked sympathetically with mothers whose homes were ruined by the Category 5 hurricane which bombarded the nation in September.


The Prince’s visit started as the UK Government reaffirmed its commitment to ‘stand by’ the islands devastated by the natural disasters and announced a further £15million in support.

Antigua escaped the worst of Hurricane Irma’s high winds and lashing rain, but neighbouring Barbuda bore the brunt of its destructive powers.

This is Charles’s first official visit to the Commonwealth nation whose head of state is the Queen.

The heir to the throne arrived on a scheduled British Airways flight accompanied by the new International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt.

The Portsmouth North MP, who is making her first overseas visit since replacing Priti Patel, earlier announced the new financial package – £12million for Dominica and £3million for Antigua and Barbuda.

During the three-day trip that will also see Charles visit the British Virgin Islands and Dominica, the Prince and the Cabinet minister will meet survivors, see the devastation and thank the military and NGOs for their efforts.

Waiting to meet the Prince on the runway was the governor-general of Antigua and Barbuda, Rodney Williams, and the country’s prime minister, Gaston Browne.

The red carpet welcome included a guard of honour and a band who played the national anthems of Britain and Antigua before Charles inspected the troops.


Ms Mordaunt said: ‘The UK aid mission was huge, covering small islands stretching more than 1,000 miles apart, where buildings, airports and infrastructure had been razed to the ground.

‘I want to pay tribute to the governments of the Overseas Territories, our humanitarian staff and to the military effort, which has been absolutely essential in delivering relief.

‘Now as we move on from the immediate response phase, on to the long-term future of the islands, Britain will continue to stand by people whose lives were devastated.

‘We are also talking to the international private sector who can support the reconstruction efforts to make sure the islands can build back, and better.’

(Daily Mail UK)

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