The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Day One in Bahamas

After yesterday’s ceremonial welcome in the beautiful Bahamas, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were ready for the first day of a jam-packed schedule.

 

The day began with some familiar weather for the Royal couple.

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The itinerary of the day has a visit to a Sybil Strachan Primary School in Nassau where they will attend a school assembly that will be broadcasted in all the schools in the Bahamas and virtually connect all the schools during the assembly. Children from schools across the Bahamian islands dial in to meet the couple. Schools in the Bahamas were closed for nearly two years from March 2020 until January this year because of the pandemic.

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At the school, The Royal couple watched performances by the school choir and a traditional Rake n’ Scrape band. From People’s report, “Rake n’ Scrape music originates from the musical traditions of the Turks and Caicos Islands, whose people brought it to The Bahamas between the 1920s and 1940s. It is characterized by the use of a saw tool as the primary instrument and is used to accompany dances such as The Bahamian Quadrille and the heel-toe polka“.

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The visit brought us the second speech from the Duchess of Cambridge. Addressing the gathering, The Duchess said, “Thank you so much and good morning everybody. I hope you didn’t get too wet coming here and apologies for bringing the British weather with us. I wanted to address the children here in The Bahamas. Whether you are here in the school today with William and me or joining virtually from across The Bahamas, thank you so much for such a warm welcome! 

We are so thrilled to be here in The Bahamas, a country that made us feel so at home as soon as we set foot on its soil. If you are a child growing up in this country today it feels to me like you are very blessed indeed.  The spectacular natural environment of The Bahamas is just one of those blessings – I only wish we were able to visit all of your 700 islands during our stay! 

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Our three children, George, Charlotte, and Louis, all love being by the sea, so I hope they will be able to experience your clear waters and beautiful beaches before too long.  However, as much as you have these natural wonders to enjoy, I know that the last few years have not been easy for many of you.  The pandemic has taken you away from your classrooms and your friends, and learning from home I’m sure has been very difficult.

That is why it is so wonderful that after almost two years of being away from each other, you have recently returned to school and been reunited with your teachers and friends again.  I can certainly feel the excitement and energy here today in this room. One of the hardest things that we have all found about the pandemic was being separated from the people we love. 

But we have also had the chance to rediscover just how important our families are, and just how important our friends are too.  I always think it is the simple things in life that bring us the most joy: Playing together, chatting to your friends at school, eating meals together, and listening to each other’s stories.

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These are the things that bring us together and give meaning to our lives. The connections, the relationships, and the friendships that you make during school are so special.  So please look after them, cherish them, and take time for them. And remember to be kind and understanding and loving to yourself and others. Today I also wanted to say a huge thank you to your parents, guardians, and teachers. 

They, I am sure, have found the pandemic equally hard, but they are doing one of the most important jobs out there.  Nurturing your young minds and helping to shape your futures. We all owe them a huge debt of gratitude – our future society depends on it. 

So, a big thank you to them for all that they do. You have a wonderful proverb in your country – ‘When the moon is not full the stars shine more brightly’. I see all of you children as the stars of this country, and I hope these difficult experiences have given you the motivation, empathy, and compassion to become fully engaged citizens of tomorrow who will make The Bahamas the vibrant, life-affirming, and soul-enriching place it is today. 

Thank you once again for having us today and for such a warm welcome!!

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Before leaving, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were presented with a portrait of The Queen and books written by the school children. They planted a tree to mark the visit and to commemorate The Queen’s Platinum jubilee.

The Duke and Duchess of cambridge visited a school in Bahamas
Kensington Palace

From there, Prince William and Duchess Catherine headed towards the second stop of the day, a Meet and Greet event at the Garden of Remembrance where they met the frontline health workers. From Daily Mail’s report,

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid tribute to frontline workers who had battled through the pandemic and shared their methods for coping with trauma. Kate spoke to medical staff from Princess Margaret Hospital about the relationship between physical and mental fitness, after successive lockdowns in the UK due to the Covid-19 crisis. Dr. Thomas Smith told the Duchess how community services had been rocked by the pressures of the pandemic and his worries for people’s mental health.

He said: ‘We are seeing a bigger need for those types of services, especially in a community setting. It’s been tough mentally on many people. Our services really are from cradle to grave so we cater for everyone but it’s important to recognize a need for those community relations as well.’ Kate said: ‘That’s so right. We have to look after our mental fitness as well as the physical side. I think people recognize that more and more. This is the perfect opportunity to have that conversation – and early intervention is really important too.’

William is on the other side of a lineup of community groups from The Bahamas in the Garden of Remembrance, behind the Parliament Building. The Duke spoke to members of the Bahamas Red Cross who had battled the effects of the devastating Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and then were deployed to deal with covid bases. He said: ‘You guys have had it pretty full-on. Two such seismic events but now an opportunity to rebuild for the future. And I suppose that’s where you guys come in again with your expertise.’ Lightening the mood he said: ‘We don’t want any more disasters for you, let’s hope The Bahamas Red Cross has a boring few years!’

Christine Lightburn from the BRC said of William: ‘He gets it. He really does. You can tell. He knows the pressures of the job and our roles. ‘Nothing could prepare us for when Dorian came but by god’s grace, we had others to come to help us. Prince William recognized that need for collaboration.’

William relayed some of his personal experiences with the team from MEMS – the emergency medical services – telling them of his memoirs of working as an aura ambulance pilot.  He said: ‘Catherine and I have been doing our best to raise awareness about mental fitness. It’s okay to say if you’re not feeling great. When I was in the air ambulance there were plenty of times where I had an experience where I would come back at the end of the day and not be able to explain why I was feeling what I was feeling. I think it’s important to recognize this and realize it’s not normal. And it’s important to recognize you should access any help you can if it’s out there.’

 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed a junjkanno parade
Kensington Palace

Then The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Parliament Square where they experienced a “Taste of The Bahamas” in a grand cultural event with The Royal Bahamas Police Force band, The Royal Bahamas Defense Force Band, and world-famous Junkanoo. The royal couple greeted crowds who gathered in Parliament Square before attending the colorful Junkanoo Carnival in Nassau to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee alongside the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Philip Davis, and his wife Ann-Marie.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended Junkanoo Parade in Bahamas
Kensington Palace

The Duchess was presented with a traditional hat by a young girl.

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Despite the rain, The Royals, their teams, and the public enjoyed the grand musical and cultural event. The Palace described the parade as “amazing”. The Royal couple had a small walkabout on Bay street and met with the locals.  From People’s report,

Charisma Thompson, 46, who was there with friends, chatted with William during the lively parade in Parliament Square.”He said, ‘Thank you for your patience and sorry for the weather,’ and we said, ‘It’s not your fault,’ ” Thompson shared. “We told him we love him and Kate and we didn’t mind waiting. He was loving the excitement and you could see it was exciting for him.”

“We know there are people here and in Jamaica who have a problem with them and are unhappy. But it’s not his fault. We are loving people and caring people and respect them and love the Queen,” adds Thompson, who works in sales at a Nassau store. “We are moving on for better days.”

In addition to locals who came out to see the Duke and Duchess, tourists on vacation were also treated to the royal celebration. A family on vacation from Chicago shrieked with delight after William stopped and chatted with them. Harrison Carter, 10, stood with sister Francesca and mother Sharon in the rain ahead of the royals’ arrival.”

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Continuing from People,” Sherial Madonna, a sales professional in Nassau who shook William’s hand, said, “It was an honor to meet him — he was so gentle with the way he was with everyone.”

“It’s so awesome that they took time out to see us. It means the world to us. Some people feel that the monarchy should end here, but I’m relaxed about it. It’s been going for so long and I love all the pomp and ceremony and the connection to Britain that means some students can go over and study, for example,” she added. “We’re happy that they’re here. And we put on a good show.”

On the other side of the street, Kate charmed the crowds. Rachelle Gibson, a supervisor at Excalibur Christian School in Nassau, said: “She shook all the children’s hands and apologized for being late. She told us they had just come from a school and the rain held them up.”

Maqayro Rolle, 11, said: “It was amazing. It doesn’t matter we are wet.” Drea Roberts, 17, added: “It was a great experience — she held my hand and I feel so happy. She was really friendly. I like her and how she had a voice. It was the best day.”

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For the first part of the day, The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing a Mint green Self-Portrait Faux pearl-embellished pleated chiffon midi dress. Thanks to Middleton Maven id.

The Duchess of cambridge wore Self-Portrait Faux pearl-embellished pleated chiffon midi dress
Self-Portrait Faux pearl-embellished pleated chiffon midi dress

The $510 dress was described as, “Self-Portrait’s midi dress is made from airy mint chiffon that’s pin-tucked and pleated to create beautiful texture and movement. It has lustrous faux pearls at the bodice and nips in at the waist before falling to a flowy, paneled skirt. Wear yours with embellished sandals.”

The Duchess of cambridge wore Nadia Irena Maya Earrings
Nadia Irena Maya Earrings

She paired it with Bahamian designer Nadia Irena’s Maya earrings. Thanks to WhatKateWore for the id.

The Duchess of Cambridge wore Jimmy Choo Romy 85 Leather Pumps
Jimmy Choo Romy 85 Leather Pumps

Her white Jimmy Choo pumps were back this morning.

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In the afternoon, The royal couple will be participating in a Sailing Regatta marking The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Montague Harbour on East Bay street. Five boats will race against each other with the Duke and Duchess participating on opposite teams.

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The day will end with a reception at the Governor-General’s residence. Check out the Royal Caribbean tour here

 

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