Wednesday, 6 August 2008 2:38 PM

Solomon Islands Bids Farewell to Royals

The four day visit of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester came to an end today as the Solomon Islands dignitaries and hundreds of locals bid farewell to the Royal couple at 10am this morning.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester departed by private jet via Brisbane after an official farewell by the Governor General, Prime Minister and the British High Commissioner. Hundreds of locals were also present at the airport to farewell the Royal couple.

Their visit had been quite a success and had left many memories with both the dignitaries and locals especially.

Throughout their visit, the Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP) along with their Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) counterpart provided tight security, which was a success.

The royal couple arrived on Sunday the 3rd of August, to a traditional welcome and thousands of excited locals, waving the British and Solomon Islands flag. It has been 30years since they first came to the Solomon Islands during the country's first Independence on the 7th July 1978 to represent the Queen.

Throughout their visit, the Duke and Duchess were entertained by His Excellency the Governor General of Solomon Islands and the British High Commissioner.

In the beginning of the week, the Royal Highnesses were honored by a Parade in commemoration of the 30th Independence Anniversary, where the Duke of Gloucester was awarded with the "Star of the Solomons" award. This is the highest award in the Solomon Islands and is given in recognition for the distinguished support and recognition of Solomon Islands as an Independence country. This was then followed by an Ecumenical Church Service at the Saint Barnabas Anglican Cathedral Church.

During their time in the country, they visited King George the Sixth School, the Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Limited (GPPOL), the National Referral hospital, the RAMSI Camp at the Guadalcanal Beach Resort and the American War Memorial in Skyline.

They had made certain important visit including an event associated with the Saint John's Ambulance Brigade and the Government House First Lady Charity.

The Duke of Gloucester ended the visit with the address to the Parliamentarians, upon the invitation of the Speaker of National Parliament, Sir. Peter Kenilorea. This makes the Duke of Gloucester the third person to have addressed the Parliament. The previous two were the Prime Minister of Tonga and the President of Taiwan.

The British High Commissioner, Mr. Richard Lyne stated that the royal visit was very important because Britain attaches a lot of importance to its relationship with Solomon Islands.

Solomon Islands was proud to have hosted the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. It has brought many smiles to thousands of people and created history for many more.