Official visits to the Bahamas have always involved a considerable level of spectacular pomp and circumstance. This was never more apparent than during the pre-independence era prior to 1973, and with events involving the royal family.

Britain’s royal family have always been tremendously popular in the islands. When Prince Philip arrived in Nassau in 1959, he was met by huge crowds, the performing police band, a presentation by the guard of honour. This followed a number of public and private engagements, dinners and socials at government house. A special speech dais was constructed. It sat in Public Square, Nassau, for His Royal Highness to deliver his address and to sit under, in a comfortable shade, away from the often brutal heat imposed from a relentless Caribbean sun.

April 26th, 1959. Nassau, Bahamas. Prince Philip of England (centre) accompanied by Governor of the Bahamas Sir Raynor Arthur and Mrs. Arthur enroute to church services at Christ Church Cathedral.

Sir Raynor Arthur was career diplomat. He appointed Governor of the Bahamas from 1957 – 1960. His predecessor as Governor was the Earl of Ranfurly and he was succeeded by Sir Robert de Stapeldon.