President Nicos Anastasiades and his wife Andri welcomed the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie to the Presidential Palace on Tuesday after the royal couple landed on the island on Monday.

In his speech, Anastasiades underlined the excellent relations between Cyprus and the UK, “constantly strengthening and developing.”

“Our bilateral relations are based on strong ties, underlined by the choice of thousands of Cypriots choosing to live permanently in the UK, as well as thousands of Britons who move to Cyprus to enjoy their retirement days or simply for holidays, as our island remains one of the most popular among people from the UK,” Anastasiades said.

Prince Edward, who was congratulated by Anastasiades for his 23rd wedding anniversary with his wife Sophie, laid a wreath at the Archbishop Makarios III statue on arrival to the Presidential Palace.

Later in the day the prince visited the English School in Nicosia where he handed out prizes to children taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

On Monday, the royal couple participated in a reception hosted by the British High Commissioner Stephen Lillie to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The rest of their trip will see them visit the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, as well as the UN Buffer Zone.

Meanwhile, the Countess of Wessex, who is a strong supporter of the UN’s Women, Peace and Security agenda, is scheduled to meet a diverse range of women and young people from across the island, to hear more about civil society’s contribution to peace and community building in Cyprus. These include the Cypriot members of the Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth network and participants in the UN and British Council ‘Young Leaders in Action’ programme.