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Charles drums up interest during Caribbean island visit

Charles joined the Combined Schools Masquerade group for an impromptu performance on his visit to St Kitts and Nevis.

The Prince of Wales tries out a drum (Jane Barlow/PA)
The Prince of Wales tries out a drum (Jane Barlow/PA)

The Prince of Wales got into the Caribbean spirit when he tried his hand at some West Indies folk drumming during a trip to a picturesque island.

Charles could not resist showing he can beat out a rhythm when he joined the Combined Schools Masquerade group for an impromptu performance during a visit to St Kitts and Nevis.

As Colin Stapleton, who leads the group held his snare drum, the future king banged away with a smile on his face and then said “I need a bit more practice” as he ended his performance.

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The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall watch local dancers at the house of the Governor-General on Nevis (Jane Barlow/PA)

He was at the official residence of St Kitts and Nevis’s deputy governor general Hyleta Liburd, with his wife, and met prominent locals.

Later the duchess was offered the classic Caribbean drink rum punch when she visited the historic Hermitage Plantation House on Nevis, and said “I couldn’t say no.”

Richard Lupinacci, who runs the estate which dates from the 1670s as a plantation inn for tourists, said their recipe was hundreds of years old and was made from “One of sour, two sweet, three strong and four weak – it’s a cure all.”

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The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are welcomed at Charlestown Pier, Nevis (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

After taking a sip the duchess, who on Wednesday had tried some 40% proof rum, said: “That’s delicious and packs a punch – it’s really alcoholic.”

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The Duchess of Cornwall samples rum punch (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

Charles and Camilla watched the Combined Schools Masquerade group give a performance in the grounds of the Governor General’s home in Nevis.

Mr Stapleton said about the prince’s playing: “It was nice – he could have a place with us, with a bit more practice.”

At the deputy Governor General’s reception Charles chatted to a group of returnees, Caribbeans who have returned home after living in the UK, at the open-air event.

He joked with Violet Kelsey, 77, originally from Nevis who returned home with her English-born husband John in 2004.

The prince said: “As the blood got thinner, it takes time to acclimatise when coming out this time of year from the UK.”

Charles was introduced to a group of schoolgirls from Nevis Sixth Form College who had just won an international debating award.

He asked the girls: “Is it just a natural talent? What were you debating and do you get to choose your subjects?”

The girls told him that they had been debating LGBTQ issues.

He commended them and added jokingly that he hoped it would not get in the way of their work and exams.

One young fan very eager to meet the prince was Junior Persaud, who turned nine today.

Thoughtful aides noticed his special birthday badge and nudged the prince in his direction.

Charles wished him happy birthday and asked how old he was.

He asked: “Will you be having a birthday cake? What’s your favourite kind of cake?”

Junior replied that it was Red Velvet, to which Charles nodded approvingly.

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