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 five 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 £15 million 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 – £12 million for Dominica and £3 million 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. (Daily Mail UK)