The Earl and Countess of Wessex arrived in St Lucia in a red carpet hedge of honor as they kicked off their seven-day Caribbean tour.
Sophie and Edward are also due to visit two other nations, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, after the Grenada leg of their trip was postponed by 11 hours.
The platinum jubilee tour has been staged to mark 70 years of the Queen’s reign, and it comes shortly after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were criticized for elements of their recent Caribbean tour, notorious date back to colonial times.
Sophie and Edward were greeted in the sunshine by the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Ernest Hilaire, and the Governor General’s ADC, Captain Cyril Saltibus, after disembarking from their British Airways flight at Hewanorra International Airport in Sainte- Lucia Friday afternoon.
Sophie, wearing a red dress, joined her husband as they walked down the red carpet to a platform, where Edward stood to receive the honor guard while the police marching band island performed the country’s national anthem.
The couple are also due to meet Saint Lucia Prime Minister Philip Pierre and Acting Governor General Cyril Errol Melchiades Charles later on Friday.
The week-long tour will see Sophie and Edward “meet communities, local entrepreneurs and artisans and young people” as well as athletes training for the Commonwealth Games.
No further details were given of Thursday’s postponement of the Granada leg of the tour.
It is understood that planning for the royal tour involved discussions between the host countries, royal officials and other parties.