On Tuesday and Wednesday this week Gibraltar had a unique opportunity to express their unwavering loyalty to Her Majesty the Queen by welcoming The Earl and Countess of Wessex to the Rock who were visiting to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee with the people of Gibraltar.
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, is the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is 14th in line of succession to the British throne. He married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1985 who accompanied him on the visit.
Gibraltarians, who are extremely patriotic displayed and waved their Union Jacks, and welcomed the couple. It is reported that the Spanish Government ‘were displeased’ by the visit.
The visit was initially delayed as his flight suffered a technical fault shortly after takeoff and had to return to Heathrow. They boarded the second scheduled British Airways flight of the day which landed without any problems in the late afternoon.
On arrival at Gibraltar International Airport, the Countess of Wessex was presented with a bouquet of flowers. The Earl and Countess then made their way to the South Dispersal to be greeted by Commander British Forces, Commodore Steve Dainton, Chief of Staff Ben Campbell-Colquhoun and Commanding Officer, Royal Gibraltar Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Dyson.
To celebrate Their Royal Highnesses’ arrival, the Royal Gibraltar Regiment conducted a 21 Royal Gun Salute.
They then drove to the Governor’s residence where a large crowd had gathered to welcome them.
On Wednesday they started early and visited the Moorish Castle estate, and toured the Northern Defences which have recently been restored to their original condition,
At lunchtime they walked from the Governor’s residence, the Convent, down Main Street, which was lined by children and the many Gibraltarians who turned out to welcome them to The Rock.
by Jim Watt - Gibraltar