The Story Can Now Be Told - Prince Harry in Belize
Hosting a member of the Royal Family is a responsibility in itself, but for the managers and staff of The Lodge at Chaa Creek one of the most important tasks was keeping Prince Harry's visit under wraps until the royal entourage departed, Chaa Creek owner Lucy Fleming said today.
"Although our staff is the most professional in Belize and accustomed to serving celebrities and dignitaries, the royal family is held in very high esteem in Belize. Everyone was excited to hear that Prince Harry would be staying at Chaa Creek, and with 135 employees, we had to impress on everyone that privacy was paramount," Ms Fleming said.
"I'm very pleased to say that the secret was well kept, and that the Prince enjoyed a relaxing time away from paparazzi and publicity," she added.
Prince Harry was visiting Belize as part of his grandmother's, Queen Elizabeth II diamond jubilee, celebrating 60 years of occupying the throne and as Belize's Head of State.
During the Prince's visit he explored the ancient Maya temple of Xunantunich, attended a massive citywide block party held in his honour at Belmopan, the nation's capital, where he also conducted the naming service for Queen Elizabeth II Boulevard.
Ms Fleming said she and her husband Mick were pleased that Prince Harry's entourage chose The Lodge at Chaa Creek during the Belize tour.
"It was certainly good news to hear that, out of all the places to stay in Belize - and we do boast some excellent resorts and hotels now - The Prince chose Chaa Creek. It really reflects well on our staff and shows that we're doing something right," she said.
While at Chaa Creek the Prince visited the Butterfly Farm, enjoyed traditional Maya food with a gourmet twist, and relaxed with an hour-and-a-half massage.
"Of course with a guest such as Prince Harry, security is a major concern, but we value all of our guest's privacy and wellbeing, so the security procedures we already have in place were sufficient, with of course a few modifications.
"However, Prince Harry's grandmother is Belize's head of state and the people have very strong affection for the Queen and Royal Family, so we did have to contain the staff's excitement and caution them to respect the Prince's privacy and right to relax by not telling their friends about the visit until he left. I think we all enjoyed being in on a big secret," Ms Fleming said.
Prince Harry said he found Chaa Creek to be very relaxing, complimented the restaurant and kitchen after dinner and thanked the staff when he left, Ms Fleming said.