A sea of Barbadians and visitors witnessed His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, on the Barbados leg of his tour of the Caribbean.
Just after 10 a.m. scores of onlookers lined the streets, many armed with cellphones and cameras to record a moment in history of Prince Charles on his second visit to the island in 49 years.
On the Chamberlain Bridge, onlooker Aidan Taylor witnessed the arrival of the Prince and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Taylor told Barbados TODAY: “I am here to witness this important milestone in Barbados and also to join with our Barbadian people and also the visitors from around the world especially those from the United Kingdom.”
He added he would have lined the streets for the Prince’s Royal Visit as a child so he is continuing the tradition by attending once more the heir to the Throne.
He said: “I did it as a little boy growing up in school and also in my capacity in my work at the airport. Yes, I am happy and excited because you never know what tomorrow brings. This is a very important time in our history.”
Another eyewitness, a retired soldier, said he viewed the Prince’s visit as a part of Barbadian history and culture.
He said: “I do not have a difficulty with it as it is a part of our history and a part of our culture. There are some people that don’t seem to care or like the idea of the monarchy in Barbados but we cannot get away from it as it is a part of our history and our culture and in order to go forward you have to know where you came from.”
But the retired soldier, a member of the Barbados Legion, said Barbados had nothing to lose from becoming a republic and he believes that it would be wise for Barbados to cut its ties with the monarchy once and for all.
He said: “I am not too happy about a lot of the happenings in the monarchy that have nothing to do with us and we still have our lives to live. We are a Commonwealth country, we respect the Crown but the Queen does not run any affairs in Barbados. We all in Barbados know we have a representative in the Governor General. So, if you are not going to represent the Monarchy then get rid of the Governor General. I am not either here nor there for it. I ask the question, what do we have to lose by becoming a republic as opposed to what we have to gain?”
A postal worker who wished to remain anonymous wanted to know how much the event cost the public.
“I think it is a good thing to have the Prince back here to see our living conditions and it is very nice to see the Prince here to have a good time with us. I just want to know what is the total cost of this and whose pockets is it coming out of? Most likely it is the taxpayers’ pocket it will come out of – it is a good thing still.”
For tourists who travelled from Canada, United Kingdom and the United States it was a moment in history as this was the first time they had seen the Prince of Wales in person.
For Bob and Julie Hill, the day could not have been any sweeter as Bob got an opportunity to shake the Prince’s hand.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY just before the ceremony began, the married couple said they had come from the United Kingdom to have this intimate moment with the future King.
Julie Hill said: “It’s been 50 years since Prince Charles last came to Barbados. Last time he came he was 21. So we are really excited to be here on holiday when Charles is around here.”
Bob said he is pleased with the warm reception that Barbados has given Prince Charles on his arrival.
He said: “It’s nice to see the welcome that Barbadians have given to our future King. It is really nice let’s hope the rain keeps off him.”
American Fallon Savage said she heard last night that the Prince of Wales would be visiting the island and decided to head to the Chamberlain Bridge to witness the momentous occasion.
She said: “We have not travelled to Barbados before; this would be our first time. We are excited to see the entire parade with the military and to hear what he is going to say.”
Deb Beirnes, visiting from Ontario, Canada for first time, said she was excited to see a member of the Royal family in person and was looking forward to seeing the full military parade.
Her friend, Barb Detweiler-Bowman, told Barbados TODAY of her excitement to see the Prince and hear the sounds of the military parade.
Just after 11 a.m, the Prince of Wales entered Heroes Square, led by a Royal Barbados Police Force mounted troop and heralded by a 21-gun salute by the the Barbados Defence Force.
The audience also cheered the arrival of Prime Minister Mia Mottley in her white suit, as crowds on the Chamberlain Bridge shouted and cheered when she mounted the dais to receive the Prime Minister’s Salute.
The armed forces then marched into the streets of the capital where Barbadians and tourists alike were entertained with versions of popular tunes from Crop Over 2018.