THE Jubilee celebrations were extended in Gibraltar as Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, began their royal visit to Gibraltar bringing a message of thanks from the Queen with them.

“Over the years I have watched Gibraltar prosper as a multi-cultural and multi-faith community, proud of its rich history while dynamic and forward-looking,” the monarch said in a message sent from Windsor Castle.

The statement was made public just as the Earl and Countess of Wessex began their three day  visit to Gibraltar, arranged to mark the Platinum Jubilee.

“In my Platinum Jubilee year, I am delighted that my son and daughter-in-law have the opportunity to visit Gibraltar again, and I am pleased that they will represent me at my Birthday Parade in Casemates Square, taking the salute of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment to whom Prince Edward presented new colours at Windsor earlier this year.”

“I am grateful for your continued allegiance and loyalty, and I am pleased to reaffirm the close ties that have existed for so long between the Crown and the people of Gibraltar.”

“My thoughts and prayers will remain with you for your future happiness and prosperity.”

The arrival of the Wessexes was delayed after the British Airways flight they were travelling on was forced to return to London following technical issues.


But they eventually touched down five hours later than planned and were met on the runway by the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo before being met by crowds of well wishers in Convent Place.

The streets were bedecked in Union Jack bunting and a chorus of ‘God Save the Queen’ rang out as the royal couple greeted onlookers.

Many of those in the crowd had also been present when the Wessexes last visited Gibraltar ten years ago to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

Queen Elizabeth II  herself has only visited Gibraltar once during her long reign.

In May 1954, just a year after her coronation she arrived with Prince Philip and two young children in tow; Prince Charles and Princess Anne, at the start of a Commonwealth Tour.


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