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Prince Harry pays tribute to the Queen in Jamaica

  • 7 March 2012
  • From the section UK
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Prince Harry has paid a personal tribute to the Queen, describing her as a "wonderful, caring grandmother" to whom he is utterly devoted.

He was addressing a banquet in Jamaica, where he is representing the Queen on a visit to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

Harry spoke of his admiration for his grandmother, whose devotion to others he described as an "inspiration".

The prince has already travelled to the Bahamas and Belize in honour of the monarch's six decades as head of state.

The state banquet was held at King's House in Kingston, the official residence of the governor-general of Jamaica, Sir Patrick Allen.

'Good wishes'

During the event Harry, who is third in line to the throne, said: "If I may, just for a moment, I would like to take this opportunity to pay a personal tribute to my grandmother.

"For me, as for millions of people around the world, her lifetime's service to others is truly an inspiration.

"But she combines all her virtues as a leader and as a head of state, with those of being a wonderful, caring grandmother - to whom we, her grandchildren, are utterly devoted."

And, making reference to Jamaican music legend Bob Marley, he also said: "I count it a great privilege to be standing here tonight, representing the Queen in Jamaica on her Diamond Jubilee.

"Her Majesty has asked me to extend her great good wishes to you all and is sorry that she can't be here - so you're stuck with me! But 'don't worry, cos every little thing gonna be all right'."

Difficult past

Prior to delivering his speech, Harry took part in a "race" with Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt.

Prince Harry sprinted down the track after a false start at the University of the West Indies stadium in Kingston as Mr Bolt jogged after him - laughing.

The prince then lunched with republican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, who greeted him with a hug.

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt says Prince Harry's visit has prompted talk about Jamaica's future - it could become a republic rather than stay a realm with a monarch - and about Jamaica and Britain's shared and difficult past.

Harry will visit a memorial to a Baptist minister who championed the rights of slaves, and told his congregation "the monster is dead" when they were emancipated.

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