Pomp, pageantry and a packed schedule, marked the one-day visit here of the future King of this Commonwealth realm, almost 50 years after his first trip to Barbados.
Today’s official visit of Their Royal Highnesses Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, kicked off with the Prince meeting Governor General Dame Sandra Mason and Prime Minister Mia Mottley at Government House.
The dignitaries then headed to Heroes Square, where hundreds of Barbadians and visitors gathered to witness a wreath-laying ceremony at the nation’s war memorial, the presentation of colours, a meet and greet session with members of the public, all preceeded by a 21-gun salute.
Prince Charles told those gathered of his delight in presenting to the Coast Guard its ceremonial colours 38 years after his mother, Her Majesty the Queen approved the white ensign under which the Coast Guard’s vessels sail.
It was on February 27 1981 that Queen Elizabeth approved the ensign, the red George Cross emblazoned on a white background with the Broken Trident in miniature in the top left corner.
Prince Charles said: “As you young men and women march off the square today, with your new colours, I express my confidence in the Barbados Coast Guard and the Cadet Corps, that you will carry these newly presented colours with pride, and this confidence is more than justified.
“For 40 years, you have demonstrated with honour, your commitment, professionalism and dedication to service both locally and regionally, during your period of service to Her Majesty the Queen. In receiving your new colours, you would not only be honoring your country, but also the men and women you now so proudly follow.”
Some onlookers had the opportunity to greet the Royal visitors before they walked to Parliament for a courtesy call on Prime Minister Mottley as Head of Government.
Again Prince Charles shook hands and had brief conversations with onlookers who lined the street as he made his way to the Nidhe Synagogue, historically known as one of the oldest synagogues in the Western Hemisphere, dating back to 1654.
He was greeted at the synagogue by real estate magnate Sir Paul Altman, a prominent member of the Jewish community who led the restoration of the historic place of worship.
During her time on the island, the Duchess of Cornwall visited the Derrick Smith School and Vocational Centre, and the Maria Holder Diabetes Centre.
At the school, designed to support the social, academic, physical, emotional and developmental needs of adolescents and adults with developmental delays, several officials, including Minister of Finance Ryan Straughn and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education Dr Romel Springer, greeted the Duchess.
While at Derrick Smith, the Duchess was invited to cut a Commonwealth Big Lunch celebratory cake, baked by the students of the culinary workshop. She was also presented with a gift box made by the woodwork students.
At the Maria Holder Diabetes Centre, Camilla unveiled a plaque and met with patients.
Over at the Garrison Savannah, Charles observed a field hospital and a disaster response demonstration. The prince has a special interest in disaster preparedness. He visited the Leewards Islands in the wake of hurricane devastation two years ago.
He was greeted by Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force, Colonel Glyne Grannum, Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, and the BDF’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rene Best.
At Ilaro Court, the official residence of the nation’s first female prime minister, the Duchess of Cornwall attended a Women of the World Think-In, joined by Prime Minister Mottley and Dame Billie Miller, among other distinguished Barbadian women.
The elderly residents of the Soroptomist Village in Eden Lodge, met the Prince who got a brief insight into its work.
He also attended a reception for the Prince’s Trust charity at the Coral Reef Club in St James where he was greeted by American singer-songwriter Lionel Richie.
It was then announced that Richie, the 69-year-old, four-time Grammy award-winner is to be the Global Ambassador for the international outreach programme which develops at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 25 years, through education, employment and entrepreneurship.
The Prince, the Prime Minister and the pop star, spent some time getting to know some of the members of the programme.
The packed day ended with their Royal Highnesses attending the Governor General’s reception at Government House.
Prince Charles first came to Barbados in October 1970 to open the National Stadium, barely a year after he was formally vested with the title of Prince of Wales as heir apparent.
Should Charles become King, he would be the fourth future King to have touched down on Barbadian soil over 233 years.
Nearly 100 years ago, David, Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII for a brief period, landed at the then British colony as part of a global tour in 1920.
The beloved King George V, visited twice, on Christmas Day 1879 and January 1884, when he was Prince George Frederick.
The first visit of a Prince of Wales was by Prince William Henry, later King William IV. Prince William Henry Street was renamed as it was said to be first landmark when he landed here on November 24 1786.