Through the crowds, a small child pointed his finger towards the Customs Gates - HRH The Princess Royal had arrived. Having already met with Councillors and several Island officials at the Wharf steps she was now making her way towards the public after two days at sea.
Immediately the joyous tune "Welcome, Welcome Princess Anne" sprung into life as school children and members of the public sang to their hearts content. The weather was perfect and the Union Jack flag frolicked happily in the breeze along with many hand held ones – it was a moment to be remembered by the many hundreds of people who had assembled at the Wharf.
HRH greeted a number of people as she walked along the seafront to the Governor’s Office and, after signing the visitors’ book, Governor Hollamby introduced her to the Heads of Department who had gathered in the Council Chambers for tea and light eats.
She then departed for Plantation House but returned to Jamestown by 2pm for the formal ceremony where she was presented with a small posy of flowers by Brownie, Kimberley Thomas. The Governor made a short speech of welcome, to which HRH responded. HRH then inspected the contingents on the Grand Parade, and talked with them for about a half hour. After presenting the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medals to members of the St Helena Emergency Services, Governor Hollamby escorted the Princess to one of the Islands greatest achievements in the Q5 year – the St Helena Museum. Members of the Heritage Society and the Director of the National Trust fixed their eyes on the Princess as she presented the Chairman Alan Nicholls with the ship’s decanter, which came from the estate of HRH The Princess Margaret originally given to her when she re-named the RMS in 1978. This was a very special moment for St Helena. Alan thanked HRH and the decanter was placed into one of the display cabinets by Museum Curator Sarah Holland. Sarah then gave HRH a tour of the building.
Meanwhile, many of the senior citizens were making their way to the General Hospital because this was where the Princess Royal would visit next. The men’s ward in the Elderly Care Unit, the maternity ward and the upstairs veranda had been filled with tables and chairs and the veranda was beautifully decorated for the Princess. After meeting with some of the senior personnel at the General Hospital HRH made her way upstairs to have tea with the senior citizens. She then visited patients in the downstairs wards.
The next stop was Half Tree Hollow where she unveiled the beautifully made foundation stone which allowed the Community Care Centre to be named after herself "The Princess Royal Community Care Centre."
The foundation stone was made by Colin Yon and his team of Ambledale Workshop who was approached at very short notice. "It was short notice and he rose to the challenge of getting the corner stone made and inscribed for the unveiling," said Deputy Secretary Ethel Yon. "He deserves credit."
That evening a small group of 22 guests joined HRH for a formal dinner at Plantation House.
On Saturday morning, HRH commenced a tour of the Island visiting the Briars, Napoleon’s Tomb and Longwood House. At Woody Ridge a sign reading: "Welcome Princess Anne" greeted the Princess as she travelled to the new Levelwood Sheltered Accommodation. Again the weather was favourable and small wild flowers were to be seen all along the roadsides. This along with the rest of the spectacular scenery made a perfect ride for the Princess. On arrival, HRH opened the Sheltered Accommodation Centre and after viewing the building she walked to the Levelwood Community Centre to have tea with about 200 senior citizens. Here she sat and talked at every table. Later, Jessica March, a woman renowned for her talent with lace making, presented HRH on behalf of the people of St Helena with a beautiful lace tray cloth which was embroidered with two arum lilies.
HRH then continued her tour through Sandy Bay and arrived at Farm Lodge to have a buffet lunch with members of the Student Council of Prince Andrew School. Following this, she visited the Agricultural Show on Francis Plain where hundreds of people had gathered for the much talked about event. An event that had required much planning and preparation to make it the success it was.
After viewing the stalls and animals HRH walked to Prince Andrew School, the building named after her brother, The Duke of York, to watch the concert "Follow the dream". Here she watched the incredible talent of the younger generation and was presented with a pair of skilfully made wooden bookends which were made by a student of the school, Kurt Johnson. HRH also met with the co-producers, co-directors and cast of the concert.
In the evening she attended a reception at the Castle and presented three MBE awards to three very deserving people: Mrs Eva Benjamin, MBE, Mrs Phyllis Peters, MBE and Mr Brian Clarke, MBE.
On Sunday 17 November HRH attended a service in St Paul’s Cathedral, which was conducted by Bishop John.
After bidding farewell to staff at Plantation House she travelled to Jamestown and departed on the RMS St Helena.
Governor Hollamby said: "Clearly it was a very successful visit, and many people are to be thanked for contributing to that success. Her Royal Highness said she was delighted to have been asked to come to St Helena to help celebrate our Quincentenary, furthermore she seemed pleased with the visit and the opportunity to meet so many Saints. I hope that she will be able to visit us again as she indicated in her speech at the welcoming ceremony."