The British High Commission in Colombo has confirmed that The Earl and Countess of Wessex have arrived in Sri Lanka for their five-day visit. It is expected that the royal couple’s time in Sri Lanka will be focused on the long-standing UK and Sri Lanka relationship as well as the Commonwealth, education and young people.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex arrived in #SriLanka earlier today, their visit will focus on the long-standing UK and Sri Lanka relationship, the #Commonwealth, education and young people. #UKSL70 https://t.co/KckQePuM4b pic.twitter.com/o0NOHzq4Do
— UKinSriLanka🇬🇧🇱🇰 (@UKinSriLanka) January 31, 2018
Edward and Sophie will meet a variety of young people who are overcoming challenges in a variety of communities across Sri Lanka.
Among those young people will be pupils from Schools for the Deaf and Blind in Ratmalana where they will interact with those able and differently abled youngsters who are taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme – a scheme that Prince Edward is heavily involved with both in the UK and across the Commonwealth. Here, Edward and Sophie will witness how the Awards Scheme helps the communication impaired integrate into society in meaningful ways.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme was established in 1956 by Prince Philip. The programme helps develop young people for life and work and last year over 133,000 Duke of Edinburgh Awards were handed out.
While in Sri Lanka, The Earl and Countess of Wessex will meet with young athletes and para-athletes who will represent Sri Lanka in the upcoming Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia.
British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, James Dauris, commented on Edward and Sophie’s visit, “The Commission is delighted to have The Earl and Countess of Wessex in Sri Lanka to celebrate the strong links between two countries, young people and the Commonwealth. Their visit comes just two months before we host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London and allows us to celebrate our Commonwealth links and the important role young people will play in developing its potential.”
The Earl and Countess of Wessex will represent Her Majesty The Queen at the 70th-anniversary celebrations of Sri Lanka’s independence on Sunday.
Further engagements include a trip to Kandy where the royal couple will visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and the Royal Botanical Gardens.
Photo Credit: Michael Garnett