Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Caribbean tour isn’t as rosy as the social media photos make it seem. The couple has been dealing with protests, first in Belize and soon in Jamaica, about the U.K.’s history of colonialism. The duo hasn’t addressed the situation at all, but protestors aren’t going to let their visit go by without voicing their demands for slavery reparations.
The royal couple was forced to cancel their visit to a sustainable cocoa farm on Sunday in Belize because a protest had broken out ahead of their arrival. According to The Independent, William and Kate wanted to press ahead with the onsite visit despite the outcry, but it was government officials who advised them to alter their itinerary. Now they are facing similar issues in Jamaica as protestors plan to march in the capital city of Kingston on Tuesday. The Advocates Network, the human rights group organizing the protests, shared a statement with the U.K. publication about their demands.
Kate Middleton and Prince William show their affections toward one another during their trip to Belize. https://t.co/Pr2vV9LozY
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“We will not participate in your Platinum Jubilee celebration!” the letter stated. “We see no reason to celebrate 70 years of the ascension of your grandmother to the British throne because her leadership, and that of her predecessors, has perpetuated the greatest human rights tragedy in the history of humankind. We are of the view that an apology for British crimes against humanity, including but not limited to, the exploitation of the indigenous people of Jamaica, the transatlantic trafficking of Africans, the enslavement of Africans, indentureship and colonisation is necessary to begin a process of healing, forgiveness, reconciliation and compensation.”
While Prince Charles addressed the “atrocity of slavery” in November after Queen Elizabeth was removed as head of state in Barbados, William and Kate have remained quiet on the topic so far. It’s awkward for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to just plow ahead with happy photo-ops alongside Caribbean locals when there are demonstrations asking for them to acknowledge Britain’s history of slavery. The palace has to develop a better strategy for navigating these visits and understanding that the royal family needs to reckon with their past while they try to modernize the monarchy for the future.
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