Royal visit planned for Falklands-Malvinas War 25th Anniversary


Mayo de 2006

Por John Fowler

VIP visitors, including a member of the Royal Family, live and interactive TV coverage between the Falklands and Britain and an extra day’s holiday were all part of a package of measures to mark the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands from Argentinean occupation announced on Monday night.

Speaking as the guest of Falkland Islands Legislative councillors at their monthly public meeting in the Islands’ Court and Council Chamber, Mr. Lewis Clifton, Chairman of the 2007 Celebrations Committee, outlined the plans for the celebrations of the recovery of the Falklands, which will begin on 14th June 2007. Mr.Clifton was accompanied by other members of the Committee, which includes representatives from the Legislative Council, the South Atlantic Medal Association, the private sector and the British military community in the Falklands.

The aim of the programme of commemorative and thanksgiving events planned to take place in the Falklands, as outlined by Mr.Clifton, was, he said, to integrate closely with a programme of similar events taking place in the UK and organised by the British Ministry of Defence under the working title, South Atlantic 25, to include the islands of South Georgia and Ascension as well as the Falklands.

Mr. Clifton suggested that the theme for the local events should be one of “success from sacrifice.” He added that in the opinion of the 2007 Celebrations Committee, this important anniversary offered an opportunity to raise international interest in the Falkland Islands, unrivalled since 1982. It was hoped, therefore, that the community would support the programme and take every opportunity to project the new and forward looking image of the modern Falklands, while at the same time paying due respect in commemorating the sacrifices of those who had made this possible.

The members of the Stanley public attending the meeting with councillors were told that while the full programme of commemorative events would begin in Stanley on 14th June with the traditional interdenominational church service in the Cathedral, this year the usually full congregation would be considerably augmented by the presence of up to thirty-six VIP guests, including an as yet unnamed member of the Royal Family, who would have arrived two days previously on a special charter flight provided by the UK Ministry of Defence.

Also arriving on the same flight from the UK will be the sixty strong band of the British Royal Marines, which will play at the parade, which annually follows the thanksgiving service.

Mr. Clifton revealed that it is hoped that live TV footage of the Falklands commemorations and parade on the 14th June will be shown on prime time news broadcasts in the UK and that there will be interactive TV links on the 17th June between the re-dedication of the British military cemetery at San Carlos in the Falkland Islands and a special event for Falklands Conflict veterans to be held on Horse-guards’ Parade in London.

The TV linkage and the special London event for veterans on 17th June are the results of planning efforts by a group led by David Pickthall, Executive Producer of Events for the BBC and Wing Commander Chris Pickthall (no relation to the former) head of the British Ministry of Defence's Ceremonial Events and Commemorations team, whose reconnaissance visit to the Falklands some months ago was reported by Mercopress.

The Horse-guards’ Parade event will include a parade down the Mall, a royal salute from Buckingham Palace and a fly-pass of aircraft involved in the 1982 campaign. It follows events to be held the previous day at the same venue to celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.