7 MARCH 2008

Pomp, circumstance and, of course, cricket have greeted Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall on their Caribbean tour.

The royal couple are now half way through a colourful official trip to five islands, which started with a calypso and steel band performance in Trinidad in addition to a traditional guard of honour, and moves on to Saint Lucia on Friday.

This being the West Indies, one of Charles' first duties was to go into bat against teenagers on a scheme for deprived youngsters. At the Queen's Park Oval, the home of Trinidadian cricket, the heir to the throne won approving comments for his technique from 17-year-old bowler Joel Joseph.

"I made it a little difficult for him by putting some spin on the ball, but he still managed to hit a couple of deliveres," said the teen.

But sport and carnival parades are not the only topics on the royal agenda. The Prince and Camilla have also visited the University of Trinidad and Tobago's Maritime Training Centre, a state-of-the-art facility for marine science with links to the UK's Southampton University.

Also on the schedule was an inspection of an anti-crime unit, in which British officers are serving, and the UK-funded Asa Wright Nature Centre, the oldest nature park in the West Indies.

Over the next few days, the royal party, who are travelling on a specially charterted megayacht, the Leander, will drop in to Jamaica and Montserrat.

Photo: ©
Faced with a fearsome 17-year-old bowler at a youth project based in Trinidad's main cricket ground, the Queen's Park Oval, Prince Charles acquitted himself well, hitting a couple of ballsPhoto: © Getty Images
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Later, the royal couple tried their hand at another favourite activity in the West IndiesPhoto: © Getty Images
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Camilla is greeted by dancers at the Tobago Maritime Training CentrePhoto: © Rex
Photo: ©
Birdwatching in the Asa Wright Nature Centre, the Caribbean's oldest nature reservePhoto: © Getty Images
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