Lucy Fleming, owner of the Lodge at Chaa Creek, said that recent correspondence from the British Royal Family to the Government of Belize is one more indication of the close ties enjoyed by both countries, and helps explain why Belizeans are happy to retain Queen Elizabeth as their Queen.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs recently sent us aletter explaining that they received correspondence from Prince Harry earlier this month personally thanking everyone involved in hosting him, and expressing how much he enjoyed his visit to Belize,” Ms Fleming said.
“At Chaa Creek we’re accustomed to hosting celebrities and VIPs, but to have someone with such a high profile and busy schedule as Prince Harry to take the time out to personally thank you is pretty exceptional. I think this helps explain why the Royal Family is so loved by so many Belizeans,” she said.
Prince Harry visited Belize last March as part of his grandmother’s, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee ceremonies. While in Belize the young Prince took part in a massive “block party” organised in his honour in the national capitol of Belmopan, launched a racing canoe named after the Queen for the Belize’s La Ruta Maya River Challenge, toured the Maya archaeological site of Xunantunich and stayed at The Lodge at Chaa Creek for a rainforest experience.
Ms Fleming said that while at Chaa Creek the Prince enjoyed a massage, sampled a mojito, a rum drink made famous by Ernest Hemingway and a Chaa Creek speciality, and personally complimented the kitchen on a Maya themed dinner the Prince said he particularly enjoyed.
“He was a marvellous guest, very warm, down to earth and easy going,” Ms Fleming said, “He seemed genuinely interested in Belize and Maya history and culture, as well as our own personal experience and the evolution of Chaa Creek. And now, to hear that he took the time out on more than one occasion to thank us, well, I think that speaks volumes about the sort of person he is and why the royal family is still so popular with Belizeans.”
Prince Harry called his visit to Belize “such a wonderfully enjoyable adventure, though brief, with memories that will last a lifetime,” and said “Thank you for such a warm and friendly welcome to such a beautiful country. I am hugely grateful for the very happy memories, and I’m very sad to leave.”
As monarch, Queen Elizabeth is Belize’s head of state, and is represented in the country by the Governor General, the Hon Colville Young. During Prince Harry’s visit crowds lined the streets and images of him mingling and dancing with the local crowds at the huge Belmopan Diamond Jubilee block party were picked up by media around the world.
“It was great to see how relaxed and comfortable Prince Harry was here, Ms Fleming said, “Belize is a very friendly country and I think he enjoyed being able to feel relaxed while meeting people and getting to know the country. I know that everyone in Belize is looking forward to having him and other members of the Royal Family come back,” she said.