The sentimental prince put in a special request to visit the island, a favorite of the late Princess Diana, while on his 10-day tour of the Caribbean.
While Prince Harry was visiting the Bahamas earlier this month as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration, excitement among the locals was at a feverish pitch; schoolchildren were thrilled to get a glimpse of the prince as he toured small communities, and Miss Bahamas beauty Anastagia Pierre declared she would marry Harry prior to meeting him at a reception for youth leaders.
For all of the different sights to see in the country, there was one stop in particular that the prince was determined to make – Windermere, a small private island found in the Eleuthera chain. Despite being a mere snip at around five and a half miles long, the island has a storied history that belies its small size. Connected to the main island of Eleuthera by a small bridge, Windermere has maintained its privacy and seclusion for decades, and kept a reputation as a celebrity-friendly hideaway.
Regular visitors to the island in past years include former U.S. President Johnson and his family, the explorer and scientist Jacques Cousteau, and a plethora of modern stars like songstress Maria Carey, who held her wedding on the island in 2008. Windermere is dotted with secluded private homes, and the island’s once-famous yacht club has closed, making it ideal for perhaps the most paparazzi-conscious guests of all – the British Royal Family.
Royals, both major and minor, have long had a love affair with Windermere; Lord Mountbatten, the Duke and Duchess of Abercorn, and the Duchess of Kent have all owned homes or frequently enjoyed stays on the island. The most famous regal visitor, however, has to be Prince Charles, who is known to have stayed on the Bahamian jewel no less than eight times. Most well-known was his trip, taken in the 1980’s, with the late Princess Diana.
It’s no wonder that Prince Harry was so eager to visit Windermere. The island is a small portrait of happier days for his beloved mother, when, pregnant with his brother William, she frolicked on its beautiful white beaches, her marriage to Prince Charles still fresh and full of possibilities. Perhaps Windermere will become equally loved among the next generation of the Royal Family – up next, perhaps a visit from Kate and William?
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