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Earl and Countess of Wessex win praise after visiting university in Jamaica

The Earl and Countess of Wessex have won praise after visiting a university in Jamaica, as they continue their four-day trip.

Prince Edward and Sophie made a visit to the University of Technology, which aims to stimulate a positive change in the Caribbean society through high quality learning and research, on Monday as part of their tour to the country.

During their visit, the royal couple met members of the staff including the Chancellor, President, Dean and they also spent time speaking with students.

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Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, speaks with students. [Photo: Dwayne Rennalls]

“They didn’t hurry up and skip to persons to person, they actually had a conversation with students,” Dwayne Rennalls told Royal Central. “I think the students really enjoyed that.”

The 24-year-old, who works at the university, added: “I think they have been warmly received, all smiles and surprisingly they are really down to earth.”

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The royal looked effortlessly stylish as she made the visit to the university. [Photo: Dwayne Rennalls]

Speaking about meeting the Queen’s youngest son and wife he said there was a “handshake” and that “Prince Edward was making a joke about how smart we looked”.

He also revealed other students remarked how Sophie was “really friendly” while some were surprised the Countess was not wearing any gloves.

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Prince Edward shares a joke with students who praised him and his wife for being “down to earth”. [Photo: Dwayne Rennalls]

The tour’s highlights also include the Earl as the Trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Foundation and Chair of the International Council, meeting with the Board of Directors of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award International, Jamaica.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which Edward and Sophie have continuously promoted in recent years, is the world’s leading achievement award for young people aged 12 to 24, bringing together practical experiences and life skills to create committed and motivated individuals.

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Sophie, with Edward, is visiting Jamaica for four days. [Photo: Dwayne Rennalls]

Founded in 1956 by the Duke of Edinburgh, the award operates in 144 countries and over seven million people have been part of it.

During their stay the couple will also call upon the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who is also the patron of the Duke of Edinburgh.

They will also visit the UWI Sports Medicine Facility and the Bustamante Hospital for children.

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