Miss Bahamas wants to marry Prince Harry
Dashing Prince Harry arrived in the Bahamas yesterday to represent his grandmother for the first time – and left with a new legion of female followers.
Harry, 27, was greeted by cheers and screams as he conducted his first engagement wearing the No. 1 Tropical Dress of The Blues and Royals, the first time that he has worn the uniform in public.
Although he is attached to the Army Air Corps, with whom he recently qualified as an Apache helicopter pilot, the prince is still officially a member of the Household Cavalry regiment.
The prince’s uniform was made up of a white tunic and lightweight blue twill trousers with the cavalry’s distinctive red stripe down the side. Instead of a forage cap, however, he was wearing the light blue beret of the Army Air Corps.
Around his torso was a gold sash, off which hung his ceremonial sword on the front and a cartouche on the back which was traditionally used to carry messages in.
In a speech delivered later in the day, Harry delivered a message from the Queen to the people of the Bahamas.
He said: ‘I stand before you with a deep sense of pride at being asked to convey to you a message of good wishes from The Queen on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee.
‘The Bahamas holds a special place in Her Majesty’s heart. Her love for this realm and you, the Bahamian people, stretches back over the decades, right to that first visit in 1966.’
He concluded: ‘I am greatly looking forward to the next 24 hours and the chance to explore and meet more of the people of these stunning islands. I hope, for me, that this is the first of many visits.
‘I’ll certainly be showing off about it to my brother and sister-in-law when I return home.
‘If I may, I would like to conclude by quoting back at you your own motto, which so encapsulates The Queen’s extraordinary life-long commitment to service and community: ‘Forward, Upward, Onward, Together.’
As he left Harry conducted a brief walkabout shaking hands and high fiving wellwishers.
The prince is currently on his first week-long foreign tour on behalf of The Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee.
His trip began in Belize last Friday and moves onto Jamaica later this week.
Harry will then travel onto Brazil to help launch a government trade mission in Rio, intriguingly taking on some of the responsibilities that would normally have fallen to his uncle, Prince Andrew, who was forced to formally give up his globe-trotting UK industry role last year after a slew of gaffes.
Although the tour has serious undertones, the fun-loving prince has thrown himself into engagements with typical gusto.
While in Belize he sipped rum punch and danced in the streets with dignitaries, including the Queen’s Governor-General, earning himself a legion of local fans.
Yesterday, however, Harry showed his more formal side as he officially called at Government House in the capital, Nassau, to pay his respects on behalf of his grandmother to the Governor General of the Bahamas, the Prime Minister and other members of the cabinet.
At the distinctive pink-painted house, where his late great-great uncle the Duke of Windsor lived during the Second World War when he was Governor General of the region, Harry chatted easily about his family.
Asked about his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, who was pictul last week carriage driving just eight weeks after heart surgery, the prince revealed he had astonished them all with his recovery and had made clear he had no intention of slowing down.
‘Now that he has got a new spurt of life he is carrying on doing all he can,’ he said.
He also exchanged gifts, giving inscribed photographs of himself to mark the occasion and receiving for the Queen a painting of a fish and for himself a raised ceramic of a turtle.
Afterwards he attended a service of morning prayer at Christ Church Cathedral in the city centre, which included a thanksgiving for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.
The congregation included leading members of the local community.
Also present was a star-struck Miss Bahamas, Anastagia Pierre, 23, who declared: ‘I came here to fall in love with Prince Harry….he’s hot! He is single now, so would I marry him, yes!’
Miss Pierre, a model and broadcaster who recently competed in the Miss Universe competition, added: ‘I am fascinated by the Royal Family, I have watched every interview Princess Diana has ever done.
‘There is great respect here for the Royal Family and we are hugely excited that Prince Harry has come here to see us. It is all over the television.’
As the service ended he took to the streets to greet hundreds of members of the public waiting outside the cathedral.
The prince also delivered the first speech of his whistle-stop tour of the region at an exhibition to chronicle the life of the Queen and her long links to the islands.
He also planned to meet up with aristocrat India Hicks, who was his late mother’s bridesmaid and now lives in the Bahamas.
Later on Prince Harry appeared very much at home as he boarded a golf buggy for a mad-cap ride around the tiny Bahamian retreat of Harbour Island yesterday.
He was visiting the picturesque mile-long island as part of his whistle-stop tour of the region to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
He arrived on a Royal Bahamian Defence Force ‘go fast’ boat after taking part in a maritime security exercise.
Unfortunately the Prince’s boat broke down on route but he was still able to arrive on time for his tour.
Harbour Island, a retreat for wealthy Americans filled with multi-million pound clapperboard houses and expensive yachts, was packed with locals and tourists alike for the event.
From the moment he set foot on shore the prince was mobbed by well-wishers, particularly pretty girls in bikinis rushing forward to blow kisses and call his name.
After a short walkabout on the quayside he boarded his buggy which had been garlanded with bougainvillea, leading a whacky- races style dash through the winding streets of the harbourside.
He grinned and waved when one local shouted: ‘Like what you do man.’
The islanders were clearly delighted to see Harry, but visibly disappointed when it turned out that his convoy would not be stopping for him to talk to locals as planned.
‘He don’t want to leave,’ shouted Kippy Johnson, 30, as the Prince got back on his boat. ‘They are rushing him, man.’
He said after the Prince left: ‘It’s shocking. He just got on the golf cart for a two minute drive round the block. It’s too short for someone like him coming to Harbour Island for the first time.
‘He is cool. He is awesome. But I wish we had him for longer.’
The Bahamas is a commonwealth nation of more than 3,000 islands, cays, and islets situated in the Atlantic Ocean just north of Cuba and 200 miles south of Florida.
It became a Crown Colony in 1718 when the British moved into the region to clamp down on piracy.
After the American War of Independence, thousands of pro-British loyalists and enslaved Africans moved to the Bahamas and set up a plantation economy.
The slave trade was abolished in the British Empire in 1807 and many Africans liberated from slave ships by the Royal Navy were settled in the Bahamas during the 19th century. Their descendants form the majority of the Bahamas’ population today.
The islands became self-governing in 1964 and fully independent of Britain in 1973, although the Queen still remains a much-loved head of state.
by Debbie Dot