Hold the china and special glass and silverware, as well as the pretty pretty teacups with their fancy saucers. The big queen is not here. The big attraction is the hunka-hunka mess of red hair, whose penchant for chocolate is well known to every local queen bee. Pity he didn’t know the commander-in-chief from “the most corrupt island in the west” could be just and uncouth. Especially when a certain music is in the air. What a calamity! Just goes to show how backward our leaders can be, even off the political stage. But alas, the series of unfortunate events didn’t end in the land of 365 beaches. A few miles away, on the isle of sugar, a small birdy flutter across the waters to recap the embarrassing moment when his royalness showed up at the port with no one there to receive him. Now those who needed to know now know not everyone in the Caribbean operates on West Indian time.
It almost seems this new cohort of would-be leaders skipped the class on do’s and don’ts when it comes to state visits. OK, so the special appearance was not about throwing some extra dollars our way. But was that any reason to dispense altogether with professionalism? Thankfully, in St. Lucia we managed to avoid too many protocol hiccups. Even the fake-news dispensers agreed the visitor had a good time. (Let’s not comment on that bit where they said the world’s best known redhead shook Sammy’s hand in St Lucia when the cricket wonder was thousands of miles away from home!)
What are the lessons to be taken away from all this? Shall we finally take the time to understand how we, as small islands, interact with the international community? Especially our trusted traditional friends? I do remember (based on what my parents shared) how dignified and exciting it used to be when Queen Elizabeth visited these parts on her Commonwealth tours. Bunting, dancing in the street, sea scouts and girl scouts putting on well rehearsed performances . . . Well, to say the least, no more. Not that the royal visitor didn’t have much to take back with him. Antigua certainly took care of that! Ah, well . . . Adios until next time!