Charles delivers speech in Pijin during last day of Solomon Islands tour

The Prince of Wales delighted crowds as he dabbled in Pijin during the last day of his tour in the Solomon Islands.

Charles took to a makeshift stage at the Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara, telling the audience: “Me hapi tumas for visiting ples blong yufala”, or that he was happy to be visiting their country.

Smatters of applause turned into cheers as the hundreds of people, including schoolchildren, caught on that the prince was not addressing them in English.

Charles visits Solomon Islands
Charles visits Solomon Islands

Charles, on his first visit to the Islands, made reference to other members of the royal family being made welcome during previous visits.

He said: “Queen blong yumi and Duke blong Edinburgh telling me such a good memories blong time algeter visitin this islands.

“Same with im piccinni blong me, Prince William, and wife blong him.

“Yufala always welkam family blong me and mifala think high o dat special bond with yufala.”

Charles also spoke about environmental issues in his speech, saying: “Sorry tumas how environment blong yufala al se everywhere lo world had threatened by climate change, global warming, pollution, unsustainable logging, over-fishing.”

He also underlined the importance of preserving natural environments for future generations, saying: “Suppose yufala keep im good algether natural heritage blong yufala, by algether piccinni and grandpiccinni blong you, fella se benefit lo hem.”

Royal visit to Solomon Islands
Royal visit to Solomon Islands

The last day of the tour also saw Charles address the Solomon Islands parliament, where he spoke of the need to address violence against women and girls.

Calling gender-based violence an “appalling scourge”, the prince told MPs: “In the Solomon Islands, as elsewhere, as long as women face the despicable threat of physical and sexual violence, or discrimination on the basis of their gender, your economy and your society will simply never be able to achieve their full and extraordinary potential.”

A 2009 study carried out by the Pacific Community suggested that nearly two in three women aged 15-49 has suffered physical and/or sexual violence from their partner at least once in their lifetime, and 42% in the last 12 months.

Charles’s last day in the Solomon Islands also saw him skip lunch in favour of meeting guests at a reception in a Honiara hotel and visiting the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, an organisation which works to control tuna fishing and keep it sustainable.

The prince’s motorcade was given a guard of honour by schoolchildren as it rolled into Honiara airport.

There, he inspected a police guard on the tarmac, and the force band went on to play God Save the Queen and God Save Our Solomon Islands.

Charles then boarded the Bombardier plane for his return to the UK.