Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell skips Royal visit festivities


NASSAU| Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell was nowhere to be seen on Thursday and Friday as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in The Bahamas for the final leg of their Caribbean Tour commemorating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Prince William and Kate Middleton were greeted at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) by Governor General Sir CA Smith, Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper, Attorney General Ryan Pinder, Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle and other senior government officials but no Mitchell.

The Royals were then whisked off to the Office of the Prime Minister where they met with Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis and his wife Ann-Marie Davis as well as Minister Myles LARODA. Other government officials were spotted at OPM but not Mitchell.

The Foreign Affairs Minister was also noticeably absent during Friday’s festivities when the couple met Education Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin and Minister of State Zane Lightbourne during a special assembly at Sybil Strachan Primary School, the Governor General, the wife of the prime minister and Ambassador Leslia Brice in Rawson Square and Deputy Prime Minister Cooper along with tourism officials at Montagu Beach for a Regatta.

Even ministers and members of parliament whose portfolios did not require their attendance made a point to show up to rub shoulders with the Royals.

As the foreign affairs minister, Mitchell was expected to be front and center for the entire three-day Royal Visit, which ends on Saturday evening.

Mitchell’s role as foreign affairs minister often takes him abroad more frequently than the average government official.

However, observers noted that the long-awaited visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to a Commonwealth country like The Bahamas, where the Queen remains the Head of State, should take precedence on his schedule.