Why make it so difficult to see the royals?

| 26/03/2019
Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

I have been reading how there are going to be many opportunities for the public to see Prince Charles and Camilla during the royal visit this week, and we are being encouraged to attend events and greet them. However, I have also read about the numerous traffic diversions and parking restrictions that are being put in place at the locations where the royals will be. My question is why bother to ask people to come out to say hello to the couple when it seems nearly impossible to do so?

Auntie’s answer: I am very glad you asked that question and I’m sure you are not alone in feeling frustrated. Before I respond to your concerns, though, I had promised to provide an update to yesterday’s column on airport parking during the royal visit.

The Cayman Islands Airports Authority has confirmed that anyone coming to pick up or drop off people at Owen Roberts will be charged the fee for short-term parking when they use the lot for long-term parking (unless, of course, you will actually be parking long term).

However, the ticketing system will revert to a manual one instead of drivers getting a ticket from the machine when entering the parking lot. There will be parking attendants stationed who will give each driver a ticket when they pull up to the entrance and note entry and exit times.

The driver will then pay at the ground transport booth inside the arrivals hall, and hand the ticket back to the attendant at the exit when they leave the parking lot.

I realise that system is not ideal and hope it works as smoothly as humanly possible.

Now to your question. It does seem contradictory, to say the least, that on one hand we are all being urged to publicly welcome Prince Charles and Camilla but, on the other, the logistics of taking part are being made to seem almost insurmountable.

Take any of the events that are planned, for example, the official opening of Jasmine Villa, the new home (and name) for Cayman HospiceCare. In the official press release issued by the Governor’s Office, the public is told they can stand in a public area outside the villa for the ceremony, but “There will be no parking available at the villa or in the immediate vicinity.”

While it is clear that you cannot use the Jasmine car park, what does “immediate vicinity” actually mean? Just how far away will people have to park from the hospice? Who knows? The release from the governor doesn’t specify. I envision cars parking every which way along West Bay Road or clogging nearby hotels’ parking lots. None of the scenarios that have been going through my mind picture an orderly succession of drivers calmly parking in a reasonable manner and then walking to the hospice.

Feel free to plug that example into any of the events planned. For good measure, consider the airport. The RCIPS has issued an explanation of the traffic diversions that will be in place for the official opening ceremony when the royals arrive Wednesday evening, 27 March. Now maybe it’s me, but the directions seem to be, as my mother used to say, “Clear as mud.” I don’t really fault the police because trying to commit to paper the specifics of all the diversions is not a simple exercise. Perhaps once on the roads by the airport it will become obvious what to do.

I know the visit of royals is an important occasion and that many people are excited by the opportunity to get a glimpse of the prince and the duchess. And, of course, I hope it all goes well and Cayman impresses the royal couple at all their stops, offering a goodly amount of Caymankind. But I also remain concerned by the many possibilities for chaos to reign.   

See details of traffic diversions on the CNS Notice Board here

See details of the events on the CNS Calendar here

Send questions to auntie@caymannewsservice.com

Recent answers from Auntie (Click here for archives)


Category: Ask Auntie, Misc Questions

Comments (10)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why even bother to see the descendants of the royal families of Europe that use to rule Europe with horror.

  2. Kim says:

    What about access for the disabled? How are they expected to get on and off shuttles?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just line the roads and wave like they do in England. You have an opportunity to meet them here which you likely wouldn’t get if you were in England.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Because in reality they live in fear for the toils and troubles they have brought to the multitudes of masses who were HERE FIRST (historically). They know themselves…so its that and plus its just a PR move for them to show their “nobility”, ha.

  5. Anonymous says:

    They aren’t worth the time or effort to go see. I’ll be chilling enjoying the day off. You guys have fun walking 3 miles in the hot sun to see two elderly people from a great distance.