BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 March 2008, 22:49 GMT
Charles and Camilla meet reggae royalty
By Nick Davis
BBC News, Jamaica

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall
The couple toured the exclusion zone of Montserrat's volcano

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are in Jamaica for the final leg of their Royal tour of the Caribbean.

They visited the home of the late reggae superstar Bob Marley, whichhasbeen turned into a museum, and the prince also went on to Rosetown, a ghetto in the capital, Kingston, where he is supporting a scheme to redevelop the area.

The royal couple arrived in Jamaica on Tuesday aboard the Leander, the luxury motor yacht they have been using to sail around the Caribbean.

This is the last destination on a trip which has also taken them to Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia and Montserrat. They had a few days off from their hectic schedule on the sea voyage across to Kingston.

But now it is back to their official engagements in Jamaica. The largest island in the English-speaking Caribbean has been host to Prince Charles a number of times - his most recent visit was in 2000.

Marley Museum

On Wednesday the Royal couple met Jamaica's own royalty here as they went to the former home of Bob Marley - now a museum honouring his life and work. The music legend's wife, Rita, welcomed them to the house that also doubled as a recording studio.

Marley had bought the colonial era building from Chris Blackwell, who also owned the record label he was signed to, Island Records.
Children's entertainment of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall
In Trinidad, Charles saw performers doing a masquerade carnival dance
At the time a Rasta buying a house like that in uptown Kingston caused an uproar.

Set back from a busy street in the heart of the city you would never spot the house from the road. However, its outside walls give away its significance.

One side is draped with black tarpaulin with flags from different African nations emblazoned on it. On the other side there are murals of Bob Marley and flags of red, gold and green - the colours that symbolise the Rastafarian faith.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were welcomed by children from a nearby school singing songs Bob Marley made famous.

As they toured the building they saw candid photos from his career and personal items like the singer's guitar, his bike and even an old hat.

The mixing desk that was used in his recording studio at 56 Hope Road is also on display. He created some of his classic albums there including 'Uprising', 'Confrontation' and 'Survival.'

The singer put Jamaican music on the map, while he became an international star with a faithful following across the globe - including the Duchess who once saw Marley in concert.

The royal couple, both big Marley fans, were then given the chance to try their hand at Nyabinghi drumming. Alongside a group of Rastafarian elders they tried to stay with the beat. The heat of the day and the exertion caused the duchess to comment that it was 'hot work.'

Revisiting old friends

The prince also visited a project he started in a slum in a West Kingston area called Rosetown - a community caught in the middle of political violence and which over the years has fallen into disrepair.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall Nyabinghi drumming
The duchess found Nyabinghi drumming "hot work"

The prince's aides say he "was struck by the plight of local people on his last trip" and is using one of his charities, the Foundation for the Built Environment, to help rebuild the area.

However, in seven years progress has been slow. Wresting control from the so-called "Community Leaders" - a euphemism for the criminals who dominate some parts of the downtown areas - has been a struggle but things are beginning to change in Rosetown.

It's back in the hands of people who now want a change from the infighting that has plagued the area and its reputation.

There are plans for traditional style West Indian houses to be built here with space for people to have gardens. It would be a complete change from what is there now.

The Royal couple will travel to Montego Bay and see more of the island over the next few days before leaving for the UK on Friday.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Charles and Camillia take a reggae tour in Jamaica



SEE ALSO
Regions and territories: Montserrat
04 Mar 08 |  Country profiles
Experts work on volcano warning
29 Aug 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Montserrat evacuation remembered
12 Sep 05 |  Americas

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific