December 2, 2020

Harry gets his hands dirty! Prince shows off his green fingers as he plants trees on Barbuda during Caribbean tour

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3aaa75c900000578-3960966-image-a-53_1479850471315By Jo Tweedy From Daily Mail

  • After two days on Antigua, , 32, arrived on neighbouring isle Barbuda today
  • Harry last visited the island as a 12-year-old in April 1997, just a few months before his mother died
  • After a night of partying at a VIP dinner on Antigua, the prince looked ready for a more sedate day out
  • Joined a small boat tour of Barbuda’s mangroves, home to one of the largest Frigate colonies in the world
  • He attended the unveiling of the dedication to The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy and Arbour Day Fair
  • Last night, PM Gaston Browne invited Harry and US actress Meghan Markle to Antigua for their honeymoon 
  • Harry wasn’t amused – and was equally awkward when invited to dance the ‘soca’ by a sultry singer

3a9f2d7100000578-3960966-a_whole_lotta_harry_members_of_a_local_antigua_youth_sports_team-a-40_1479893935110Prince Harry showed he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty as he rolled up his sleeves to help plant a tree on Barbuda today.

The royal, 32, was photographed mucking in at the unveiling of a dedication to his grandmother the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy at the Queen Victoria Botanical Gardens.

It was an emotional return to the island for Harry, who last visited as a 12-year-old with the late Princess Diana and brother William, then 14.

It is the third day of his official tour, which marks the 35th Anniversary of Independence in Antigua and Barbuda and the 50th Anniversary of Independence in Barbados and Guyana.

He planted trees to mark the dedication of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, which was launched last year as a unique network of forest conservation initiatives, involving all 52 countries of the Commonwealth.

The prince appeared relaxed as he crouched down with young people involved in the project to plant a sapling in the ground at the Queen Victoria Botanical Gardens.

3a9f12fe00000578-3960966-i_call_this_one_the_starfish_prince_harry_didn_t_hold_back_when_-a-44_1479893935220He was also seen leaning down to chat to school children from Holy Trinity Primary School on Barbuda today, who dressed in t-shirts with Harry’s face on to greet the prince with a steel drum performance.

His day had started sedately as he took a tour of one of the largest colonies of Frigate birds in the world. Dressed in a light-weight linen shirt and navy chinos, the royal looked happy to embark on the gentle wildlife trip, which saw him boarding a small boat and heading for Barbuda’s mangroves, where he got an extensive tour of the birds’ breeding ground.

The visit came just hours after Harry was left looking uncomfortable when Antigua and Barbuda’s prime minister invited him and girlfriend Meghan Markle to spend their ‘honeymoon’ in Antigua.

During a reception at the end of the Prince’s first full day in Antigua, premier Gaston Browne made the offer to Harry in front of hundreds of guests at the VIP dinner yesterday evening.

In a speech at the event on Monday night, Mr Browne told him: ‘I understand that there may be a new addition to the Royal Family very soon.

3aa4b23200000578-3960966-scantily_clad_dancers_wearing_embellished_bikinis_and_feathered_-a-23_1479893934734‘I am told that there may be a princess and I just want to say that should you make the decision to honeymoon – then Antigua and Barbuda want to welcome you.’

‘We have been voted consistently as the best honeymoon destination in the Caribbean – and one of the best in the world – so there will be nowhere in the world as special to spend your honeymoon, when that day arrives.

Following on from his boat trip, Harry paid a visit to the Holy Trinity Primary School and Nursery where he met a host of immaculately presented schoolchildren, some of whom were wearing the official Harry t-shirt that has already been a frequent sight on this trip.

He posed for photographs with the cute youngsters after listening to traditional music played out by the school’s band.

The educational facility is celebrating the 93rd anniversary of its Founders’ Day and Harry took time to listen to some of the newest learners in the school’s colourful library.

3aa002f000000578-3960966-such_a_poser_prince_harry_gets_in_position_for_a_photograph_with-a-42_1479893935190Then, Harry was left in the hands of the school’s cook, who gave him a MasterChef-style skills test by asking him to gut a fish.

Under the guidance of a professional, Harry got to work on the fish’s innards and left the entrails in a small pile next to the fish, much to the delight of those watching.

Early yesterday, the prince visited the official residence of the Governor General – the Queen’s representative in Antigua and Barbuda – for the Colours of Charity event.

Harry had chatted to young people and played with children. He also had fun blowing bubbles with youngsters in national dress, who were entertained by clowns and stilt-walkers.

Little Chance de Gannes, aged five, blew bubbles in the prince’s face; Harry joked with the youngster, making a funny face as they popped on his beard.

Each charity adopted a different color for the afternoon of fun and activity, while bands including the Antigua Girls’ High School Steel Orchestra and the National Youth Choir provided a musical accompaniment.

3aa24b8b00000578-3960966-the_prince_was_photographed_shaking_hands_with_the_children_who_-a-30_1479893934870He also laid down to give a hug to Jeanique, 21, who has spina bifida, and also kissed her on the forehead.

Mrs Carey said: ‘She wanted a hug for her birthday which was last month and he was amazing.’

Cuthbert Forbes, 21, a worker with the Halo Foundation, which organised the event, said they were not told to talk about Harry’s relationship with Markles.

He added: ‘It came up at an organising committee meeting when we were thinking about what we could talk to him about and one of the core members of the committee said we shouldn’t talk about his girlfriend because it is personal.’

Instead the charity worker joked with the prince about giving him his £65 red suede shoes which Harry admired and asked ‘Are they even legal?’

Welcoming Harry to the island, Sir Rodney, a former doctor, said: ‘Antigua and Barbuda is truly a Caribbean paradise in every sense of the word: near perfect weather conditions, pristine beaches, and a captivating culture.

‘Nonetheless, in our small corner and indeed throughout the world, there are some who are much less fortunate – with poorer health, almost no discretionary income, or no protection and comfort within their home environment.

3a987faf00000578-3960966-harry_applauds_the_official_opening_of_the_200_year_old_former_r-a-47_1479893935347‘It is therefore extremely important that we do everything possible to address these expressed charitable needs.’

Earlier on Monday, the prince looked happy to be showing off his sporting – and dancing – prowess on the second day of his Caribbean tour.

He was warned to anticipate some protest after the hashtag #Notmyprince began trending in the Caribbean on Twitter.

But he didn’t look unduly worried by the news as he danced ‘the dab’ – last performed by Harry in Scotland in September – and played a variety of with local students at Antigua’s Sir Vivian Richards stadium.

Swapping the British chill for warm sunshine, Harry, will visit seven different countries in the next two weeks as he travels on behalf of the Queen celebrating the region’s history, culture and achievements. 

The fifth in line to the throne spent the morning watching seven different sports with local schoolchildren, trying his hand at several along the way.

From volleyball to basketball and golf, Harry showed he meant business, as he jumped to push the ball over the net, his blue linen shirt flying up in the wind and hit several applause worthy cricket shots.

3aaa32fa00000578-3960966-image-a-45_1479848251510-1Luckily the sun went in as the prince, who is known for his sporting skills and played cricket at Eton, jogged around the stadium.

The Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s four-year-old son, Prince, also ran up to take a picture with Harry and said he was excited to meet ‘a real prince’.

Netball player Harmony Edwards, 14, went in for a hug. Her friend Rayana Regis, 15, said: ‘It was great to meet him and he was really lovely.’

After arriving on Sunday, the first stop for Harry was Antigua’s , where the royal received a warm welcome from Governor General Sir Rodney Williams last night.

Wearing a dark grey suit with mid-blue tie, Harry seemed relaxed in the company of Sir Rodney as he presented the Antigua Governor General with a photograph of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to mark their 69th wedding anniversary.

The prince officially re-opened a renovated Clarence House, which was originally constructed for the Duke of Clarence, the future William IV, when he was governor general in the 18th century.

Harry paid tribute to his grandparents who celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary and read a message from the Queen which said: ‘Prince Philip and I send our warmest wishes to Antigua and Barbuda on the occasion of this celebration to mark 35 years of independence.

3aaa36ef00000578-3960966-image-a-9_1479847296638‘I have fond memories of visiting your country in 1966, 1977 during the Silver Jubilee and again in 1985.

The historic property was also where his great-aunt, Princess Margaret, spend two weeks of her honeymoon in 1960, but it had fallen into complete disrepair until a British businessman donated more than £2 million to renovate it.

‘I will never forget the warmth of your people and the incredible natural beauty of the islands. It has been a great privilege for me to watch Antigua and Barbuda develop into the confident country it is today with a strong national identity and a positive outlook.

‘I congratulate all of you for the part you have played in building this community and creating so many opportunities for the next generation.’

3aaa449900000578-3960966-image-a-35_1479848116503Ascot Michael, the country’s tourism minister, reminded Harry that he and the Duke of Cambridge were brought to Barbuda by their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, for childhood holidays, saying: ‘We are truly pleased to welcome you back to a place of childhood memories, your home in the Caribbean.’

Meanwhile, Prince Harry’s girlfriend Meghan Markle has returned to the set of US series Suits.

Miss Markle is famous for playing a flirty trainee lawyer Rachel Zane in the US series Suits and frequently appears in racy scenes along with co-star Patrick J Adams.

The glamorous American returned back to the television set yesterday in Toronto, Canada after her swift stop-off in the UK where she was said to have stayed with Harry in Kensington, London.

It is believed the Suits actress stayed with Harry at Harry’s bijou Kensington Palace home, Nottingham Cottage. She is yet to be pictured with Prince Harry.

With busy work schedules, it’s unlikely that the couple will reunite until late December, unless Markle flies south in the next fortnight.

IMAGES:

Prince Harry also visited Holy Trinity Primary School today as part of his official tour of the Caribbean
Harry applauds the official opening of the 200-year-old former residence of the Commissioner of the Royal Navy Dockyard
I call this one the starfish: Prince Harry didn’t hold back when it came to enthusiasm
Such a poser: Prince Harry gets in position for a photograph with his new signed cricket bat
A whole lotta Harry! Members of a local Antigua youth sports team greet Prince Harry wearing t-shirts adorned with his face; the royal is on the second day of his tour of the Caribbean
The prince was photographed shaking hands with the children who had attended the charity event in St John’s, Antigua
Scantily-clad dancers wearing embellished bikinis and feathered accessories performed on stage for the dignitaries                                                                        Not afraid to get his hands dirty, the Prince took an active role in planting trees as part of the conservation project

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