By Clara Obi
We all love the Royal family. We love their culture, their clothing, their chinaware, cities, monuments and all of what England has to offer. But what we especially love is their interest in society, charities and actual contributions in making the world a better place. Now, this entire family doesn’t take all these responsibilities lightly, and yet again even in their advanced ages, they are planning a visit to the African continent in 2 weeks. The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, who by the way is the heir apparent to the throne of England, and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess Camilla are set to embark on a royal trip of nine days to Africa. England’s number 2 couple is said to follow in the footsteps of May, the British Prime Minister, who had just visited South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya in August.
When does it start?
The royal trip to Sub-Saharan Africa begins on the 31st of October, with Nigeria being the royal couple’s first stop. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are expected to arrive Nigeria on the 6th of November 2018, which is two weeks from today. They will embark on this journey on the same day the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) will be expected to arrive in England from their tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and the Kingdom of Tonga which lasted 2 weeks. So it’s very likely that they miss each other.
As part of their 9 day tour of Africa, it is also required of them by the British government to also visit Ghana and The Gambia. This information was relayed by the British High Commissioner in Nigeria in the person of Paul Tarkwright. The High commissioner’s statement was made in Abuja, Nigeria capital city on Wednesday the 24th of October. He further added that he’s looking forward to the welcoming ‘Their Royal Highnesses’ to an experience of wealth and cultural diversity that is embedded in Nigeria.
What is the purpose of the visit?
Unlike Theresa May, whose purpose was to reinforce Britain’s fortunes from its exit from the United Kingdom (Brexit fortunes), the royal couple, as stated by the British High Commissioner, is on a mandate to celebrate the dynamics of the United Kingdom in Africa. Also, this royal tour is about laying foundations for future partnerships with these three Commonwealth member countries on a leveled ground of mutual interests. The royal couple is also expected to visit some slavery sites and acknowledge slavery in these African continents, and really see its impact on the African society. After all, it is these three countries that were synonymous with selling off people as slaves to the British and American citizens. Even the royal family was actively involved in this practice, from Elizabeth the 1st who commended and supported John Hawkins, one of the first slave traders in Britain to King William the 4th who was a strong opposition to slavery abolition.
Who will they meet?
First of all, the Prince of Wales and his wife, Duchess Camilla will be warmly received by the president himself, President Muhammad Buhari at the presidential villa in Aso Rock immediately they arrive in Nigeria. The United Kingdom Mission Senior Communications Officer, Mrs Tinu Adelegan said that during the visit, the royal couple is expected to meet some of Nigeria’s dynamic youths. They will also meet the traditional leaders, the Nigerian armed forces, some artists, fashion, the Nigerian business hub and lastly some noticeable charity inclined sectors.
This visit is also supposed to shed light on the important themes in the UK – Nigeria relationship as well as solidify the country’s Commonwealth links, literacy, youth opportunities, women and girl child education, the country’s defense strategies and possible co-operations, it’s religious, ethnic as well as cultural diversity and other related opportunities. Their 2 day visit to Nigeria will involve a series of engagements in Abuja and Lagos. The aim of this is to tighten the UK-Nigeria cooperation across all its sectors, even in art, music, medical research, fashion and film.
During their visit the Prince and the Duchess will also partake in commemorative activities and events as a means to acknowledge the soldiers in Nigeria, The Gambia and Ghana who sacrificed so much during the war times. These fallen soldiers sacrificed their lives and properties during the first and second world wars and also during the recent international peacekeeping missions. The Deputy Private Secretary to the Prince of Wales, Scott Furssedonn-Wood added that ‘their tour will also highlight the people-to-people links between our countries and the invaluable contributions they make to our shared prosperity and security.’ This is the major significance of the royal Sub-Saharan African tour.
When will they leave?
This royal tour is set to kick off by the 31st of October. The Tour is 9 days long for the Prince and 7 days long for the Duchess. Their 2 day visit to Nigeria will elapse on the 9th of November 2018 after which the royal couple will move on to visit Ghana and The Gambia. In Ghana, the Prince will visit Christiansburg Castle which was built in the 17th century. This castle was previously a Danish slave fort, but after the abolition of slave trade, it was possessed and owned by the United Kingdom. This fort is found in Accra, Ghana’s capital city and up until a few years back, it was their seat of Governance. The Prince even stayed in this building during his 1977 visit to the country.
Lastly, the royal couple is expected to make it back to England before the Prince’s birthday which is on the 14th of November. The prince will be turning 70, and this celebration will continue throughout the year.
Its always an honor to receive the Royal Family in Nigeria, and yet again the heir apparent to the throne of England and his wife are embarking on a tour of Africa, where they will visit Nigeria, The Gambia and Ghana. Their visit is meant to tighten the UK-Nigeria relationship and cooperation across diverse sectors like health, culture, education, art etc. This is great news and as Nigerians, we are ecstatic to receive and host Prince Charles and his wife, Duchess Camilla during their visit.