EDITORIAL: The benefits of a royal visit
NOW WE KNOW His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales will be visiting Barbados from November 29 to December 1 on an official visit, all nationals and people resident on the island should be rejoicing. Good things will almost certainly be happening to the realm of Barbados even before this member of the Mountbatten-Windsor family sets foot on the land.
No Government – nor Opposition – in Barbados despite their rhetoric and occasional Pan-African protestations, recognise that Barbados remains loyal to the royals, and are fascinated with them. Indeed, the visiting Prince knows Barbados and shares something in common with a lot of Barbadians. Despite the long official name – Henry Charles Albert David – he simply goes as Prince Harry, something commonplace amongst many Barbadians who have that signature nickname. So this young member of the revered Royal family can expect only the very best treatment during his brief visit as there is still much public acclamation for the royal family in little England.
It is unlikely many people will get a chance to meet the Prince in person or get even a close-up first hand view of him during one of his many official duties but, nonetheless, thousands of Barbadians still stand to be grateful beneficiaries of the spill-off which this trip will bring.
We are certain that despite Prince Harry’s military training and exposure to some rough and tough living, local officials will not want him to be driving around on some of the many roads all across the island which are full of potholes. So don’t be surprised if some roads are repaired and paved literally overnight, which means the private contractors will get some much deserved work and a few people should also get jobs even if only short-term.
Yes, president David Granger of Guyana and president Juan Carlos Varela of Panama should also be here at the same time, and while the red carpet will be laid out for them, they simply do not carry the same weight, given that not all men are equal – something which we have long accepted. So these two political leaders may have to take a backseat. The spotlight will be on Prince Harry, a true blue blood aristocrat.
His presence on the island means the garbage piles which have become an eyesore on our roadsides will have to be cleared so that no smelly leachate pollutes the atmosphere and become a focal point for any visiting media. The private haulers are already on the job and this is good for enterprise and the creation of jobs.
While Prince Harry’s visit is all about the celebration of this island’s golden anniversary of Independence every effort will be made to ensure that the island has everything in place for a picture-perfect visit. This royal visit is a godsend. Let’s hope we can welcome The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge next year so that more things can be fixed.