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Comment 06 MARCH 2012

Pomp and ceremony for Prince Harry in Jamaica amid republican debate

06 MARCH 2012

It was a grand welcome fit for the monarch he is representing.

When Prince Harry landed in Jamaica, on his journey through the Caribbean on behalf of his grandmother in her Diamond Jubilee year, he was met with a 21-gun salute.

On several occasions in the last few days, the royal has shown his high-spirited side, partying with locals in Belize and joking with beauty queens in the Bahamas.



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But on Monday he observed the formalities, arriving in a suit and tie for what may be the final tour by a senior royal with the Queen as head of state. 

His visit comes as the country's prime minister suggested it was time for the island to take "full charge" its destiny.

The island achieved independence in 1962 and Portia Simpson Miller is considered a referendum later this year on replacing Elizabeth II with a home-grown figure head.

Despite her Republican views, the leader said she has utmost respect for the sovereign whom she described as a "beautiful lady".

"The Queen at any time would be welcome to visit. And she would be treated in the same way as she's been treated for all the years she's been visiting Jamaica."

In her stead, the Prince inspected a guard of honour, before being introduced to officials on the tarmac.

He was then driven to the residence of the governor general and was due to meet Olympic champion Usain Bolt as well as Ms Simpson Miller.

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