***Editor’s Note: Throughout the day, this page will be updated regularly with ongoing news coverage of the royal visit to the Cayman Islands by Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.***
Royal couple departs Pedro St. James (Thursday, 7:50 p.m.)
The royals stepped into the waiting white Jaguar as a large crowd shouted goodbye to them, and with a final wave, they were gone, with their motorcade making its way to the airport where the Royal Air Force jet awaits them.
Many people have remained behind to continue to party with the Swanky Kitchen Band, who took to the stage a little earlier this evening.
Prince delivers farewell speech (Thursday, 7:10 p.m.)
Prince Charles addressed the public at Pedro St. James, saying it was a joy to have visited the Cayman Islands. Referencing his earlier visit to the islands in 1973, he said the progress that has been made here has been remarkable.
Charles said Cayman should be proud of what it has achieved and that the territory punches above its weight in the region.
He encouraged the islands to value its natural environment and protect its waters. He acknowledged the dangers of global warming and ocean acidification.
Charles said he was delighted by the planned expansion of Cayman’s marine parks and about the work being done at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute.
“We are deeply grateful to have been given such a special welcome on all three islands and to have met so many people from such diverse backgrounds who now call these islands home,” he said.
“As we leave you this evening, we will take with us the fondest of memories of these beautiful islands and the warmth of the Cayman Islands people.”
Royal couple arrives at Pedro St. James (Thursday, 6:40 p.m.)
Governor Martyn Roper addressed the crowd gathered at Pedro St. James to see off the royal visitors.
Premier Alden McLaughlin also spoke and declared Cayman to be British and proud of it. He recapped the highlights of the trip and spoke of how much Cayman has changed since Prince Charles last visited as a young man in 1973. McLaughlin said he marvelled at the energy of the prince.
Franz Manderson awaits MBE (Thursday, 6:20 p.m.)
Crowds gather at Pedro St. James (Thursday, 5:20 p.m.)
A farewell reception kicked off at Pedro St. James, where the public was invited to celebrate with the royal couple.
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson was scheduled to receive his MBE from the prince at the event, while Felicia McLean, director of operations and nursing at Jasmine, and athlete Andrew Smilley, were expected to be presented with Certificates and Badges of Honour.
Charles makes a friend at the Botanic Park (Thursday, 4:20 p.m.)
Charles greets public after ribbon-cutting (Thursday, 3:30 p.m.)
Prince Charles visits Botanic Park (Thursday, 3:25 p.m.)
During Prince Charles’s visit to the Botanic Park, Environment Minister Dwayne Seymour announced that Cabinet has approved draft instructions to expand marine parks across the Cayman Islands.
Charles was then scheduled to open the Rotary school house at the new children’s garden.
Prince Charles arrives in Little Cayman (Thursday, 1:10 p.m.)
The prince has landed in Little Cayman, where he will visit the Central Caribbean Marine Institute. He is expected to participate in a question-and-answer session with the Reefs Go Live programme. A scuba diver, equipped with a microphone and headset, will be underwater as he speaks with the prince.
Duchess Camilla visits George Town Primary School (Thursday, 12:15 p.m.)
Sister Islands receive royal visitor (Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)
Meanwhile, in Little Cayman, students awaited the prince’s arrival.
Cayman International School student Josh Cowell, 12, said he was “shocked” to hear Prince Charles would be coming to Little Cayman while Josh’s school group was at CCMI.
“I think it’s amazing he would come to such a small place,” Josh said. “My whole family is from England. They’ve always looked up to the royal family as true leaders. It’s an honour to see him in person.”
CIS student Evie Sweetman said she felt lucky to have a chance to meet the prince later today.
Prince Charles arrives in Cayman Brac (Thursday, 11:35 a.m.)
Prince Charles arrived in Cayman Brac where he will meet with dignitaries and cut the ribbon for the swimming pool at the Cayman Brac Sports Complex.
Duchess arrives at Estella’s Place (Thursday, 11:30 a.m.)
The Duchess of Cornwall is touring the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre facility on Eastern Avenue.
Duchess arrives at Jasmine Villas (Thursday, 11:20 a.m.)
The Duchess of Cornwall will participate in the official ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new hospice facility, Jasmine Villas.
The facility took five years to build and required more than $3 million in fundraising. Dart donated the land that the facility sits on and a road will eventually connect the building with Camana Bay.
Public gathers at Smith Cove (Thursday, 11:10 a.m.)
Sustainable Cayman members gathered at Smith Cove for a community beach celebration, holding signs to greet the royal visitors and bring awareness to environmental topics. The royal couple was not scheduled to visit the site.
Press gathers in Sister Islands (Thursday, 10:40)
Members of the press were boarding a Cayman Airways flight to Cayman Brac to cover activities there.
Crowd gathers for duchess at new hospice centre (Thursday, 10:25 a.m.)
Day two kicks off
It’s day two of the royal visit and Prince Charles and Camilla have separate schedules.
While Charles heads to the Sister Islands to open the new pool at the Brac sports complex and to drop in on the Central Caribbean Marine Institute in Little Cayman, his wife will be officially opening the new Jasmine Villa Hospice Centre in Grand Cayman.
Camilla is also visiting George Town Primary School and Estella’s Place, part of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre.
Charles will touch down at Clifton Hunter School later this afternoon after a helicopter trip from the Sister Islands, before an appearance at the Botanic Park. The couple will reunite for tonight’s reception at Pedro St. James castle.
Roundup of day one
Governor, premier sit down with Prince Charles
Governor Martyn Roper shared this moment with Premier Alden McLaughlin and Prince Charles on his Instagram page on Wednesday evening.
Government shares thoughts on airport dedication (Wednesday, 5:00 p.m.)
We caught up with Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell and Airports CEO Albert Anderson briefly after the ceremony.
Kirkconnell, who greeted Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall as they stepped out of the governor’s white Jaguar, which ferried them from the plane to the opening ceremony, said he was delighted with how the event had gone.
He said, “I’m extremely happy, this is the people’s airport.”
He said it was great to see so many children get the chance to greet the couple.
“It is a fabulous feeling. I am so impressed with the young people of Cayman. He [Prince Charles] was really engaging, they answered all their questions. It made me very proud. Both he and they had extremely positive feelings about the whole visit.”
Mr. Anderson said he was relieved and happy at how smoothly the event had gone.
“It is an absolute honour to have their Royal Highnesses here at the opening of the airport. It is something that all Caymanians can be proud of,” he said.
Royal couple departs for Government House (Wednesday, 4:30)
Charles and Camilla departed for Government House in the governor’s white jaguar.
Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla unveil airport plaque (Wednesday, 4:25 p.m.)
During an unveiling ceremony at Owen Roberts International Airport, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla inaugurated the newly renovated facility.
Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell called it a proud day for Cayman. He called it the “people’s airport”.
Airports CEO Albert Anderson said achieving the renovation without too much passenger disruption was a miracle. He then invited the royal couple to unveil the dedication plaque.
The prince and duchess took time to shake hands and greet children.
Prince Charles greets visitors (Wednesday, 4:00 p.m.)
Prince Charles was greeted by scores of cheering schoolchildren as he entered Owen Roberts International Airport, where the royal couple was expected to participate in an inauguration ceremony of the newly renovated facility.
Royal Air Force jet lands (Wednesday, 3:50 p.m.)
The Royal Air Force Jet arrived from Cuba around 3:45 p.m. with the Royal entourage.
Royal fans line up (Wednesday, 3:25 p.m.)
Ria Scott Blyth, 38, brought her two daughters, Georgia, 3, and Ruby, 1.
“I love the royal family, and there’s not many chances where they can come and see Prince Charles. Georgia loves princesses and she was very excited about meeting a prince.”
Scott Blyth, who lived in Hartfordshire before moving to Cayman five years ago, said of the royal family, she’s only once seen the queen and that was from a distance.
“This is really exciting,” she said. “It’s an amazing memory I can have with my children.”
Bob and Sue Fenton of Colorado Springs, Colorado, weren’t expecting a royal sighting would be part of their two-week Cayman vacation.
“We’ve been to Great Britain a number of times,” Mr. Fenton said.
When he saw news of the visit, “We thought it was a good chance to see one of the royals. Honestly, we wish it was the children because they make so much news and they’re young and fresh. But the man could be king.”
Amy Frimpong, 66, saw Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip when she was a caterer at a royal jubilee 40 years ago.
Despite living in London, she hasn’t seen a royal since.
“We all love the royals,” she said as she waited for the arrival of Prince Charles. “I want to have a good glimpse of him.”
She is in Cayman for the first time on a two-week stay.
“This is the highlight of my trip,” she said.
‘I’m hoping to get to talk them’ (Wednesday, 2:50 p.m.)
Royal revellers arrive (Wednesday, 2:45)
Students arrive at airport (2:40 p.m.)
Government officials begin to arrive (Wednesday, 2:25 p.m.)
Guests get in place (Wednesday, 2:15 p.m.)
Members of the public began taking seats in front of Owen Roberts International Airport in anticipation of the arrival of the royal couple.
Last-minute preparations (Wednesday, 12:45 p.m.)
Cayman officials are making the final preparations and putting the finishing touches in place for today’s royal visit. Charles, Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, begin their official two-day visit with an arrival ceremony at Owen Roberts International Airport, where they are due to arrive about 3:45 p.m. The public is asked to be in place to welcome the couple by 2:30 p.m.
Governor Martyn Roper posted this image of the ceremony area at the airport, which features a giant Cayman coat of arms.
One of the first official tasks the royal couple will undertake is to unveil a plaque to mark the opening of the new airport terminal.
Prince Charles to give awards to 3 Caymanians (Wednesday, 12:45 p.m.)
Just a few hours before Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, are due to begin their official visit to Grand Cayman, Governor Martyn Roper has announced that Charles will be presenting honours to three Caymanians at Thursday night’s public event at Pedro St. James.
Prince Charles will award Felicia McLean, director of operations and nursing at Jasmine Hospice, and athlete Andrew Smilley with Certificates and Badges of Honour. McLean receives the award for her services to palliative care in Cayman, while Smiley receives his for services to sport.
As previously announced, the prince will also present Deputy Governor Franz Manderson with an MBE at Thursday’s investiture ceremony. Manderson, who is head of the civil service, was named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his services to the Cayman Islands at the Queen’s Birthday celebrations in June last year.
In a statement, Governor Roper said, “I am delighted to announce these awards today for Felicia and Andrew. They are both very well deserved and demonstrate the major achievements of these dedicated and talented Caymanians. These awards are particularly special as the recipients will receive their medals from HRH The Prince of Wales, during the Investiture at the beautiful Pedro St James tomorrow evening. I hope they have a special and memorable evening and that as many as people as possible can witness this historic moment.”