Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex made a two-day visit to the Turks and Caicos Islands between Wednesday, February 22 and Thursday, February 23.
Arriving in the country's capital Grand Turk Wednesday, the royals were greeted with much pump and ceremony, including a guard of honor and a march-past by uniformed groups.
On Thursday, the less-than-24-hour visit took the Royals to the country's tourism Mecca - Providenciales - where both had tight engagements.
The Earl, accompanied by Governor, His Excellency Nigel Dakin visited the Edward Gartland Youth Centre and, in meeting staff and young people, see the service the Centre provides for youth. He met representatives of ‘100 Black Men’ and ‘Boys to Men’, and recipients of their efforts. He was briefed on mentoring programs in support of young men in the Turks and Caicos.
He then visited the Gustavus Lightbourne Centre to meet those representing the best of sport, along with the unsung heroes that have contributed to the development of sport in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Earl, was one of many cheering fans during the East versus West Royal Cup Schoolboy Basketball championship. He presented the trophy to the Champions team.
His Royal Highness then went to the neighboring Downtown Ball Park to spend time with the uniformed services from whom he learned about a range of challenges TCI faces.
The groups included the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, including its Tactical Unit, the Turks and Caicos Island Regiment, and its rapid progress, the Cadets, who put on a brilliant drill for his Royal Highness, the recipients of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, an award of which he is patron.
The Countess spent her morning exploring the natural beauty and extraordinary environment of TCI. Hosted by environmental specialists, viewing mangroves, observe the country's unique Iguana species, visited the third largest barrier reef in the world (one that TCI stewards on the worlds behalf).
The Countess learned how our natural environment – including reef and mangroves - offer us some protection from natural disaster - and also helps power our economy by seeing the extraordinary Grace Bay Beach from the sea, the best in the world according to Trip Advisor.
They then capped the day with a luncheon, hosted by Premier Hon. Washington Misick, thereafter departing for The Bahamas.
The following are photo highlights from the visit: