The tour, which the extremely popular couple, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, or Prince William and his wife Kate, have completed so far in their “career”, has been a rather rare exception due to their popularity. But their current trip to the Caribbean hasn’t been without its problems. The countries visited are unable to forgive the British monarchy for its former colonialism and aspire to the establishment of republics. The whole visit was accompanied by several controversial moments.
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“The royal visit to Jamaica has rekindled passions for Britain’s imperial past and renewed the call for independence. Protesters have demanded an apology and reparations for slavery from several protests, the Daily said. Mail At the same time, however, he pointed out that on the contrary, in many parts of the country, William and Kate have received a very warm welcome.
The Caribbean tour took place this year on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The problems arose on the first day when the next King William and his wife flew to Belize. Their originally planned program in the country had to be hastily canceled and replaced with another one. “A visit to a cocoa farm in Indian Creek Village was dropped from the couple’s plan. A protest had taken place a few days earlier, with protesters demanding the visit be cancelled,” the BBC reported.
Not only did William and Kate represent representatives of the former colonial power, but they aroused the passion of the villagers. In addition, some time ago there was a land dispute between the locals and the environmental organization Fauna and Flora International, whose patron is Prince William.
Princes belong to fairy tales
However, the event in Belize was only a prelude to a much more controversial moment in Jamaica. Although the country is independent from Britain, has its own government and parliament, it is still formally a constitutional monarchy and the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. Over the past year, the trend for the state to completely break away from the colonial past and establish a republic has gained momentum. Especially after that is exactly how Barbados became independent last year, leaving the constitutional monarchy led by Elizabeth II. becomes a republic headed by an elected president. William and Kate’s current visit has, in a way, added fuel to the fire in Jamaica.
As cheering crowds greeted them in the areas of the capital Kingston they visited, there was a protest in another area. Participants demanded not only final and complete independence for Jamaica, but also an apology and reparations from Britain for former slavery. “It is offensive to abuse these young people (the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) to try to persuade us to maintain the status quo in our country when our aim is to finally remove the Queen’s gloved hands from our necks in order that we could they could breathe freely,” human rights activist Kay Osborne told Reuters.
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A girl with a banner appeared among the protesters, which read: Kings, queens, princesses and princes belong in fairy tales, not Jamaica. According to Town and Country magazine, other protesters pointed out that William and Kate were living in the luxury that the former exploitation of Commonwealth states had provided.
Even before the arrival of the prince and his wife, part of the Jamaican elite spoke out against the visit. About 100 prominent Jamaicans and Jamaican organizations sent the couple an official letter demanding that Britain pay reparations to Jamaica. “We see no reason to celebrate the 70th anniversary of your grandmother’s accession to the British throne, as her government and the government of her predecessors have maintained one of the greatest human rights tragedies in the world. history of mankind. In seventy years on the throne, your grandmother has done nothing to correct and atone for the sufferings of our ancestors that took place during her reign and/or during the entire period of trade British with Africans, of enslavement and colonization,” the letter reads.
You will not rule us
Although the Duke and Duchess did not meet the protesters directly, they did not escape when it was suggested that by the time William became king, Jamaica would no longer be a constitutional monarchy. An awkward moment occurred during their meeting with Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
“In an obviously tense meeting, Holness told the couple that Jamaica needed to move on and fulfill its true ambition of becoming an independent state,” CNN said. Prince William and his wife did not comment. But the situation was extremely unpleasant and controversial.
However, at the gala dinner, which took place a day later, the next British king was no longer silent. On the contrary, he made a surprising move that was much appreciated by commentators. In his speech, he regretted that Britain once practiced slavery. “The Duke of Cambridge expressed his deep sadness that the natives had been enslaved. He said slavery was disgusting, should never have happened and would be a stain in British history forever” , said the BBC.
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However, the prince’s speech did not satisfy everyone. Especially not those who demand an apology from Britain for colonialism and slavery and, if possible, financial reparations. However, according to royal family expert Jonny Dymond, one cannot even expect something similar from members of the royal family.
“Grief doesn’t really make up for an apology. Some of them might be disappointed. But apologizing would imply acceptance and raise the question of financial compensation. And it makes sense that Prince William didn’t go that far. Something similar needs to be put in place by the UK government, not the royal family,” Dymong warned in a comment to the BBC.
A celebration of colonialism?
While it might seem that Prince William’s moving speech, complete with the release of a number of photos of the Duke and Duchess spending time with locals, could have repaired the reputation of the whole controversial tour, c ultimately the opposite is true. As some reviewers point out, the crown (albeit in a bad way) was spent on the whole visit by the not-so-good job of the Duke and Duchess’ PR and organizational team.
One of their visits during the military parade was William and Kate’s ride in the open Land Rover. It was the same car that Queen Elizabeth II drove on a visit to Jamaica at the start of the second half of the 20th century. and her husband Prince Philip. “The purpose of the ride was to pay homage to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who drove to the same location in the 1960s. But for many the gesture meant that somewhat different times were being remembered – the era of colonialism,” the BBC points out.
According to the station, the same controversy was sparked by photographs in which the prince and duchess greet crowds of cheering Jamaican children. But the photo was taken so badly that you only see the children lying over the fence. And it looks like William and Kate are shaking hands with children separated by some sort of “fence.” “The Black Lives Matter movement and Barbadian independence have changed a lot. Times have changed. , it didn’t work at all,” writes the BBC.