By NAN STAFF WRITER
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. April 25, 2022: The second Royal visit to the Caribbean is underway with Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex touring Antigua & Barbuda today.
The Earl and Countess today met with the country’s prime minister Gaston Browne as well as Sir Rodney Williams, Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda at Government House in St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda; played steel drums in the garden at Government House and met with former West Indies cricketers Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Curtly Ambrose and Sir Richie Richardson at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
(L-R) Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Curtly Ambrose, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Sir Rodney Williams, Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda, Lady Sandra Williams and Sir Richie Richardson at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on April 25, 2022 in St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
The couple also talked to members of the sailing academy at the National Sailing Academy in St John’s, which offers The Sail-Ability program to people and particularly children with disabilities, the opportunity to get involved with activities on the water.
Browne said during a meeting with the royal couple that Antigua and Barbuda should “one day become a republic.”
Sophie, Countess of Wessex at the National Sailing Academy on April 25, 2022 in St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda. The Sail-Ability programme, offers people and particularly children with disabilities, the opportunity to get involved with activities on the water. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
However, Browne acknowledged such a move is “not on the cards” currently but he called for “reparatory justice” to compensate for slavery.
The earl and countess met Mr Browne and his cabinet at a meeting on Monday.
Browne told the couple: “We continue to have the Queen as our head of state, even though I should say we aspire at some point to become a republic.”
The Earl and Countess of Wessex are touring the region for one week, with visits to Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The tour forms part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. A planned tour to Grenada was dropped amid calls for reparation from a local group there.