Prince Charles to become first British royal to visit Cuba in over half a century

Posted: 22-Mar-19 14:26

During his 12-day Caribbean tour, HRH Prince Charles will be making a stop in Cuba on 24th March as part of an official visit to strengthen bilateral cultural ties and discuss trade and climate change. The visit follows Prince Charles private meeting in London with Cuba´s new president Miguel Diaz-Canel last November and will mark a historical momentum between the two countries following the UK’s imminent departure from the European Union.

Prince Charles to become first British royal to visit Cuba in over half a century

This Sunday HRH Prince Charles, in the company of his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will be landing in Cuba for the first time ever, also marking the first time in over 60 years that a British royal visits the island.

The move is not only ground-breaking because this marks the official visit of a figure of such high political ranking (the last time a UK prime minister visited Cuba was in 1948 when Winston Churchill arrived to the island along with his wife and daughter, a few years before assuming office again, so his was more of a personal Cuba holiday, shall we say, and not an official visit per se) but because this will also mark the first time a heir apparent to the British throne travels to Cuba.

Prince Charles will be in Cuba for three days, making instant history as he meets with Cuban prime minister, Miguel Diaz-Canel as well as other government officials to talk about bilateral ties, climate change (an issue close to his heart on which he has been very vocal) and to strengthen the two island nations’ diplomatic and commercial relationship, especially in the lead-up to the UK’s departure from the European Union.

History in the making – Prince Charles in Cuba, his itinerary in the island

During his time in Cuba, Prince Charles will visit a selection of natural areas and protected reserves to discuss climate change policies. He will also stop by a solar-powered energy station that’s partly being financed by British funds and which is expected to launch in December, becoming the Caribbean’s largest of its kind.

Our sources at the Cuban Embassy in Havana also tell us that he will be given a full tour of Havana with the guidance of the mayor of the city, stopping at the John Lennon Park, where the famous British singer has been forever immortalised in the form of a bronze sculpture. This is where Prince Charles will learn more about Cuba’s feverish Beatlemania, which is very much alive today, also in the form of a Beatles-themed club Submarino Amarillo.

According to reports, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will also visit a salsa school, might enjoy a performance from reunited members of the Buena Vista Social Club and will also talk tourism and British investment in the island.

For the perfect finishing touch, the heir to the British throne, will enjoy a performance by the Royal Ballet, with Cuban-British star performer and CBE Carlos Acosta, who is the first Cuban to have been awarded the Order of the British Empire.

Prince Charles is travelling to Cuba at the request of the British government to underscore warming British-Cuban ties, and as such many Cubans are excited, like Havana resident Cira Llerena, who said of the upcoming royal visit:

“This is an acknowledgement not only of Cuba's people, but also of the government, and tells the United States we are not that isolated,”

For a while now, Antony Stokes, British Ambassador to Cuba has been filling his Twitter account with posts about the upcoming royal visit with the #RoyalVisitCuba, including a video where he explains more about the meaning and impact of the royal visit at this place in time and where he shared a video of a Cuban agronomic entrepreneur who gave a warm welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall from his sustainable paradise in Finca Marta. Stokes also retweeted a post linking to a Cuba holidays news detailing his November 2018 interview about Cuba’s enormous potential for UK investors.


But who was there first?

There was one other British royal who visited Cuba prior to Prince Charles. But who was it? Well, non-other than the Duke of Windsor and former King Edward VIII, who visited Cuba on two occasions, along with his wife, Wallis Simpson. By contrast his visit was purely recreational and during his Cuba holidays in 1948 and 1955 he played golf, stayed at the Hotel Nacional (also Winston Churchill’s choice of accommodation in Havana) enjoyed a dinner in his honour hosted by the Countess of Revilla de Camargo and expressed his love of Cuban cigars.


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