PRINCE William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
TAXPAYERS will pay fully for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to The Bahamas next week, an official said yesterday.
Jack Thompson, the permanent secretary in the Office of the Governor General, said such trips customarily come at the expense of the host nation.
“It is customary for the host country to absorb the costs, accommodations, meals for the couple and the staff,” he said during a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday.
Press Secretary Clint Watson said he sought to find out how much the royal visit will cost, but could not obtain that information.
“They’re still waiting on a number of figures to come in so they don’t have that figure for us,” he said.
This comes after Jamaican news outlets reported last month that Jamaica’s government will not be paying for the royals’ visit there, but would be absorbing some costs.
Prince William and Kate Middleton will visit The Bahamas from March 24-26 to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Leslie Miller-Brice, the ambassador to CARICOM, said The Bahamas will seize the visit “to showcase the country as more than sun, sand and sea with a key focus on our people, culture, present challenges and a hope for the future.”
She said the royals will see the impact Hurricane Dorian has had by visiting Abaco and engaging residents there about the recovery efforts.
“We want them to appreciate firsthand the impact climate change is having on our country and the need for carbon producing countries to support us,” she said.
The royals will also visit Coral Vita in Grand Bahama which won the Duke’s inaugural Earthshot prize. The prize is awarded to those who support innovative solutions to the climate crisis.
Mrs Miller-Brice said in New Providence, a focus will be on highlighting education loss during the pandemic and on celebrating frontline workers who helped during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Kendal Strachan said residents should expect road closures and diversions as the royals make their way around the islands.
“Security will no doubt be enforced,” he said.