Couple meet UWI youth leaders
The Earl and Countess of Wessex got a chance to meet some of the young leaders of the Caribbean yesterday when they visited the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies.
In the second stop on their two-day official visit to the island to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the reign of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie interacted with members of the executive of the Guild of Students before a 15-minute meet-and-greet of other select students.
Speaking to each of the 24 student leaders, the fourth child of the Queen enquired their area of study, how close they were to completion, their intended career choice and even joked about the large number of students who were studying law.
Among those students he met was Mia Jules, a student of the Faculty of Humanities and Education who is pursuing a PhD in education and psychology.
Jules told the WEEKEND NATION that the prince was interested in her area of study and whether she might be returning to join the academic staff of the institution.
Hannah Howard, assistant Press secretary to Queen Elizabeth II, who was travelling with the Royal couple, said Prince Edward was a frequent visitor to the island having been here on at least ten occasions.
“The prince welcomed the opportunity to visit Barbados and said he was always warmly welcomed . . . . It meant a lot to [Prince Edward and his wife].
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Maxine McClean, who was also part of the official party to the Cave Hill Campus, defended Government’s expenditure for the Royal visit.
“The reality is that we are part of the Commonwealth, the Queen is the Head of State of Barbados and that is what it is.”
She added: “We respect all that is required as we recognize high points and key dates and therefore this jubilee is a critical one for us and I believe that in true Barbadian tradition we will do all that is necessary to demonstrate that relationship that exists between Barbados and Britain.”
Earlier, UWI Cave Hill Campus principal Sir Hilary Beckles led the Royal couple to the official opening of the exhibition Looking Back . . . Looking Forward: 60 Years Of Progress And Achievement Through Education at the Errol Barrow Centre For Creative Imagination.
He said the UWI community believed the exhibition aptly demonstrated how well the institution, established by Royal Charter in 1949, had succeeded in fostering an academic and professional culture in the region. (GE)