REMARKS BY THE MOST HONOURABLE SIR PATRICK ALLEN, ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J AT THE DINNER HOSTED IN HONOUR OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES: THE DUKE & DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE TUESDAY

SALUTATIONS    

      

  • Your Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
  • The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister and Mrs. Holness
  • Ministers of Government and Members of the Judiciary
  • Your Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps
  • Ladies & Gentlemen

Good evening.

 

Lady Allen and I are very pleased to host this dinner for our special guests – Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on their first, official visit to Jamaica.

 

Jamaica’s relationship with Her Majesty The Queen and members of the Royal Family has been one of mutual respect as demonstrated by this evening’s gathering and the presence of Their Royal Highnesses.

 

We are pleased to have with us even as you visit other Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean, as part of the commemoration of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

 

This Jubilee is a significant tribute to the unquestionable dedicated service and unswerving commitment to the performance of her duties as Head of the Monarchy and the Commonwealth. Her Majesty’s wisdom and steady guidance over these seventy years, have served these institutions well and have been central to their continued existence.

 

Jamaica, therefore, acknowledges and extends best wishes to Her Majesty on attaining this unparalleled milestone.

 

It is noteworthy that the visit of Their Royal Highnesses is taking place at a time when we have only just commemorated Commonwealth Day 2022. This year’s theme, “Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming”, stands as a poignant reminder of the legacy that Her Majesty has created for the pursuit of the growth and development of this ‘family’ of nations, and which continue to bind us together through adherence to common values.

 

Your Royal Highnesses, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year is a special one for Jamaica as we celebrate our Diamond Anniversary. We are afforded the time and the opportunity to reflect on our journey as an independent nation and the partnerships that have been forged over the past sixty years.

 

We recall that the United Kingdom was among the first three countries with which Jamaica established Diplomatic Relations as it prepared for Independence in 1962. Since those nascent days, we have defined a framework for engagement that is in keeping with the evolution and maturing of our relationship over the years.

The United Kingdom has been a reliable partner that has supported critical programmes and projects at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.  These programmes include social and economic development, poverty alleviation, education, security and the mitigation of natural disasters.

 

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a focus also on vaccine support and the provision of medical supplies to bolster Jamaica’s response.  These areas, I know, are of particular interest to Their Royal Highnesses, whose shared passion for the environment, protecting the most vulnerable in the society and promoting the well-being of individuals, is well known.

 

As Patrons of several charities and through Their Royal Foundation, Their Royal Highnesses have highlighted issues that should concern us as a global family and challenge us to make a difference in the lives of others.

 

 

The empowerment of young people, addressing mental health issues and ensuring that our children are enabled through access to education, including early childhood education, are among those priorities.

 

Your Royal Highnesses,

Lady Allen and I are very pleased that during your brief visit, you have been able to witness some of the work being done at the national level, to address these critical areas.

 

I am proud that Jamaicans, many of whom are a part of the Windrush generation, have played such a pivotal role in the development of the United Kingdom, and in particular, the health sector. They continue to be central to our efforts to enhance people-to-people connections and solidify our partnership

 

Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen,

It is my hope and that of Lady Allen, that Your Royal Highnesses have enjoyed the warm Jamaican hospitality, food, culture and beauty of our land, and will take pleasant and enduring memories of your stay.  We hope Your Royal Highnesses will be able to visit again.

 

Lady Allen and I wish for you all, an enjoyable evening.

 

I thank you.