Harry takes to the drums and deploys dancing skills in charm offensive

Prince Harry Visits The Caribbean - Day 4
Prince Harry Visits The Caribbean - Day 4

Prince Harry has embraced the Caribbean spirit of St Kitts & Nevis drumming with a group of youngsters and dancing with colourfully dressed performers.

The Prince of Wales is known for his dancing skills and his son Harry appeared to be a chip off the old block when a group of dancers enticed the royal to move to the beat during a cultural show.

Despite the formal nature of the event, which saw Harry, who wore a suit and tie, formally unveil the nation's contribution to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy Project, he looked happy to join in with the show celebrating the youth of St Kitts & Nevis.

Earlier Harry was left admiring the views of the hills around the capital Basseterre, and talking to the waiting press, when he arrived 10 minutes early for an official greeting by Governor General Sir Tapley Seaton.

Harry had travelled on Royal Fleet Auxiliary Wave Knight, a tanker already in the region on counter-narcotics and disaster relief duty, and he stepped on shore ahead of time after docking around 8.45am local time.

Later the performers called Sylvester's Masquerade, dressed in brightly coloured strips of fabric, bells, glass and peacock feather headdresses, welcomed Harry to Brimstone Hill Fortress - a spectacular Unesco world heritage site 244 metres above sea level and built in the shadow of Mount Liamuiga.

With stunning views of the surrounding hillsides as a backdrop, Harry and the Governor General walked through the performers and at the end of the show of poetry, dance and drumming they returned to bid farewell to their royal guest.

Harry walked slowly among the dancers pointing at one and dancing with another, shaking his head with the entertainer as musicians beat out hypnotic rhythms.

During the show he also gave an impromptu percussion display when performers playing drums brought an instrument up to his seat.

During the performances from the young people Harry clapped along to the music and also posed for pictures with the colourfully dressed dancers before he left.

After the young people of the Commonwealth nation had entertained the prince he went on stage to unveil a plaque marking the St Kitts and Nevis dedication to The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy Project.

Launched at the Commonwealth summit in Malta in 2015 it aims to create a network of protected forests and woodlands, one each from the 52 member states of the Commonwealth.

St Kitts' has contributed all of its forests above 300 metres within the Central Forest Reserve National Park.

"Your contribution is incredibly generous," Harry told the audience in a speech.

He added: "Not only will it encourage more visitors to this beautiful place, but will also give people around the Commonwealth the opportunity to learn about your forests and the ways you protect them.

"The forests we see behind us are truly amazing - thank you so much for contributing them to this project in the year of the Queen's 90th birthday - and wow what a present."

He ended with the words "Thank you again for your friendly Caribbean welcome. I am only here for a short time, but can safely say that the beauty and people of St Kitts and Nevis will stay with me for a very long time."

Earlier during the journey to Brimstone Hill Fortress, an 18th century British fort built by slave labour, Harry made an impromptu stop at the hillside grave of Sir Thomas Warner, who founded St Kitts as the first English Caribbean colony in 1624.

And youngsters waiting by the roadside to catch a glimpse of Harry's motorcade had an unexpected visit from Harry.

Despite temperatures of 28C, the clouds opened and a downpour meant they sought shelter inside.

But instead of leaving them disappointed, the prince told his driver to stop and ran in to speak to three and four-year-old's from the Half Way Tree pre-school.

He knelt down to chat to the children, asking them what they wanted to do as adults and spoke to them about school.

He also taught them how to do a salute, telling one little girl: "You would make a good policeman!"

Prince Harry Visits The Caribbean - Day 4
Prince Harry Visits The Caribbean - Day 4

When he asked: "Are you all well behaved? Do the teachers look after you?" the group of 32 pupils giggled and he allowed them to play with his beard.

Teacher Octavia Brookes, 38, said "just like his mother", as the prince spent around 10 minutes enjoying time with the children.

She added: 'She (Princess Diana) was just like him - he's just like his mum, friendly in the same way. It is so nice meeting him.'