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Prince Harry Comes to Belize: My Scoop

I’ll be upfront with you from the beginning.  I do not have the best pictures around.  REAL media was at this event…BBC, Australia’s Channel 9, the Associated Press.  And they had real press passes.  Ones that allowed them to get really close to the tall, slender, young prince.  But I travelled from San Pedro to Belmopan to catch a glimpse of Prince Harry’s first trip to Belize for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  And I got close.  REAL close.  So let me describe my day to you.

I was travelling to Belmopan (Belize’s capital) the cheap way….the old school way.  Water taxi from San Pedro to Belize City ($55bzd round trip), taxi to the bus terminal ($6bzd) and then the bus to Belmopan ($4bzd!).  It was a gorgeous morning and the boat was packed.  I was way in the back on the boat.  Smoothest ride but NOISY.

If you are looking to fly to Belmopan, the price is MUCH higher BUT you can fly directly from the island for $166.50USD.

My taxi took me to the bus station.

I was 40 minutes early for the express bus (CRITICAL, the local literally stops every 2 minutes) so I headed across the street to the Chinese food place.

This place in itself is a blog post.  Dimly lit…a strange mix of families, guys enjoying a Friday afternoon by drinking straight from rum bottles, and super loud dance hall music.  I ordered the fried rice and a Belikin.  It was enough to feed a family of 10 and…well…not the best I’ve had.

But I could see the mass appeal.  People were in there gorging themselves.  3 items from the “buffet” for $6bzd?  Can you beat that?

To the bus station!  My express bus was scheduled to leave at 2:15pm.

I boarded and sat in the front row.  My seat mate handed me one of his 5 machetes to hold.  Okay…

not a problem.  This bus is equipped.   I love the Beanie babies hanging from the kit.

Express it wasn’t.  We stopped to pick up and drop off every school kid and grandmother on the way to Belmopan.  No worries…the gentleman behind me insisted that we share his blackberry wine that he kept in a Gatorade bottle.  Don’t worry…I had only one sip.  And that was enough.

When you drive to Belmopan, here are the first hills you see…the Sleeping Giant.  Can you see him?

I checked into my bed and breakfast and headed straight to the party down by “embassy row”.  There were lots of people walking in that direction and a security stop with a metal detector.

Everyone was given a Belize flag and a British flag.  A nice touch I thought…

The podium and the chairs were ready.  The whole front area was clearly for VIP only.

A fantastic steel drum group was playing.  And not just Harry Belafonte.  They played Black Eye Peas and Akon.

People were packed along the sides of the road.

I needed to pick my spot.  Harry would be stopping at each of the cultural food stalls.  There was Creole, Garifuna and Mestizo.  This was Garifuna…and they were AMAZING.  The drumming…the costumes.  I think they were my favorite.

But Mestizo was fantastic too.  And the cooks were from San Pedro!  Go Miss Elvi and Jennie Staines from Elvi’s Kitchen.

I found my crew.   Locals from Belmopan, they totally had my back.  Saved my place…held my beer.  Thanks guys!

There were TV guys everywhere.   Like this fine looking gentleman from Channel 9, Australia.

Or this American reporter.  Does anyone recognize him?  Is it ABC’s Bob Woodruff?  He was hurt in Iraq, right?  He looks AMAZING.

The Mestizo dancers and singers…we were waiting.

Okay…so we waited and waited.  Harry gave a short speech.  Very informal.  And then made his way around to the different booths.

Here they come by us!

Harry ducked into the tent.

People were swarming!

He did a shot of Elvi’s ceviche!

There were 8 dishes to eat at this last station.  Harry was begging for mercy…saying that he was so full.  But he was such a great sport.  He tried each and every one.

I am so glad I can out for this event.  Amazing.  Once in a lifetime.  And so what if I am not real paparazzi.  

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11 thoughts on “Prince Harry Comes to Belize: My Scoop

  1. loka

    Great job. You would have never even got within 100 yards of him in America. Here you were up close and personal. These pics show a beautiful country enjoying a very special occasion and you captured the essence of it. You are very talented.

  2. Emily

    Fantastic job! Your dedication to your craft is most commendable. Very few get close enough to royalty to catch a ceviche shot drinking armpit sweat shot!

    Thanks for sharing this event with us. I think I’m even more impressed that Bob Woodruff was there than seeing Prince Harry!

  3. Sharon Hiebing, Wealth Ships' Expat Relocation Consultant

    You are just way too hard on yourself, girl! Those pics are amazing. I decided to go on a whim, so wasn’t there early enough to get let into the event, which had great lighting. Instead, even though I was ten feet from Harry (twice), my crummy camera couldn’t get a good night shot. Then my batteries died. Oy vay – a reporter I’m not.

    You did a Fantastic job – thanks for showing me what I missed, even though I was there, lol!

  4. Cara in RI

    Great reporting, with your usual amusing style (loved the machete comment)…and I thought the pix were great! Loved seeing everyone so excited to see the Prince, and how beautiful everyone looked in their local attire. I felt just as excited with all the build up to his visit, even tho I am miles and miles away. Thanks for your great post and for taking me there, even if just by my computer.

  5. Me

    Thanks guys! It was SO MUCH FUN. And worth it to stay at the B&B I stayed at…friendliest people I’ve ever met. Harry was a star.

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