Princess Anne arrives in Papua New Guinea
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The Princess Royal is the latest member of the Royal Family to embark on a tour to celebrate 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s rule. On Monday, Princess Anne touched down in Papua New Guinea where she is spending two days carrying out a series of engagements.
The 71-year-old royal is joined by her husband, Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, for the whirlwind tour of the island nation.
To kick off day two, the pair visited Caritas Technical Secondary School in Port Moresby where they received a wonderful welcome from students in traditional dress representing 22 provinces.
Princess Anne, who is passionate about girls’ education, said she was very pleased to visit an all-girls school and gave a speech to the students.
The Princess and her husband were taken on a tour of the school, before visiting the Port Moresby General Hospital where she opened the National Kumul Heart Centre.
Royal fans were quick to expresss admiration for the Queen’s only daughter as they remarked on how much she shares her mother’s dedication to service.
One wrote: “Love Princess Anne. She works tirelessly but never hardly gets credit in media.”
While another added: “The Princess Royal is fantastic and becoming so much like her mum”.
Her tour comes at a precarious time for the family, as last month William and Kate faced pushback on their own royal tour in the Caribbean.
The pair visited Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas across an eight-day tour labelled as a “charm offensive”.
However, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were met with significant resistance in Jamaica, where there were calls for reparations for slavery and revelations about a move towards becoming a republic.
An open letter to the monarchy from Jamaican campaigners read: “We see no reason to celebrate 70 years of the ascension of your grandmother to the British throne because her leadership, and that of her predecessors, has perpetuated the greatest human rights tragedy in the history of humankind.”
As cultural values shift and members of the Commonwealth question their association with the Royal Family, questions have been raised about what the future holds for Prince Charles and Prince William when they ascend the throne.
Papua New Guinea, however, is choosing to stay the course and will not be following the path of Barbados, which became a republic last November.
The Minister for National Events, Justin Tkatchenko said: “As other countries might look at departing from the Commonwealth or having the Queen as its head of state, Papua New Guinea is looking in the opposite direction in embracing what we have and making it bigger and better than it was before.”
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He added: “What happened in the Caribbean, they’re a completely different race and tradition to Papua New Guineans.”
He went on to stress that strengthening ties was “not just about the Royal Family”.
He said: “It’s also about uniting ourselves with the other Commonwealth countries that this country can benefit from through trade and economic stimulation and also security.”
Royal fans reacted to the comments claiming it signified Princess Anne would be treated with respect and honour during her visit.
One wrote: “Papua New Guinea showing respect to their invited guest Princess Anne! #ThePrincessRoyal”.
Another added: “Love this! Papua New Guinea understands what the Commonwealth is about, and how it brings countries together.”
While one more said: “Yes, Respect, Strength & Unity is what it should be about. Great.”
Anne and her husband were welcomed with a warm reception in the capital, Port Moresby on Monday and were greeted by Prime Minister James Marape.
Anne was presented with a garland of flowers before she inspected a guard of honour.
She also paid a courtesy visit to Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae and attended a cocktail function and dinner hosted by the PM.
During their tour of Papua New Guinea, their itinerary sees them visit schools, cemeteries, museums and galleries.
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