Sophie Wessex left startled by bird during unexpected encounter on Caribbean royal tour

Sophie almost lost her sunglasses

The Countess of Wessex was left startled by a bird on Saturday, as it swooped down over her head and almost knocked her sunglasses off her head.

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Sophie was invited to see the St Vincent and the Grenadines’ national bird, the Amazona guildingii, as part of her visit to the botanical gardens in the country on Saturday.

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WATCH: Edward and Sophie continue Caribbean royal tour

But as she entered the aviary, the countess was unaware of one bird resting on the cage above her.

Her husband the Earl of Wessex was walking in behind her when the bird left its perch and flew over the top of her head, forcing her to duck down and leaving her sunglasses falling down onto her face.

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The Countess and guests all laughed at the moment, which helped to lighten the mood, and Sophie was later introduced to the Amazona guildingii, feeding the birds from the palm of her hand.

A group of around 15 protesters displayed placards on Saturday as the pair made their way to Government House on the island. Banners read "end to colonialism" and "#CompensationNow", as well as "Britain your debt is outstanding".

The bird swooped down off its perch

The demonstration comes shortly after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were criticized for elements of their recent Caribbean tour, deemed to hark back to colonial days.

Sophie and Edward arrived in Saint Lucia on Friday for the beginning of the week-long royal tour of the Caribbean ahead of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Sophie is on the tour with husband Prince Edward

Over the upcoming days, the royal couple will also visit Antigua and Barbuda, where they are set to meet communities, official leaders and explore the islands.

The Countess of Wessex plans to speak to women in leadership roles about the community's response to the eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano while visiting Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the upcoming days.

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