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Prince William Will Address Slavery in Speech as ‘Tone-Deaf’ Caribbean Tour Continues


Wednesday night in Jamaica, Prince William is expected to acknowledge, in a speech, in a speech, the issue of slavery.

What will he say, and will it go in any way to reassure many in Jamaica felt anger seething and other former colonies, for which the British royal family has had a bitter and unresolved history, remains to be seen.

Of course, this is not a conversation Prince William and Kate Middleton think they will have an increasingly troubled tour of Central America and the Caribbean. Instead, it was intended as a thank-you tour to mark the queen’s Platinum Jubilee, with staged, fun-filled photo calls and Kate in pretty dresses.

After an embarrassing start in Belize, where they had to cancel their first official visit during a trip to a cocoa farm in the face of anti-colonial protests, a couple landed in Jamaica on Tuesday afternoon, where protesters greeted them outside the venue for their first engagement, a dinner at the British High Commission.

The protest was led by a group of 100 community leaders calling themselves the Network of Advocates.

The group released an open letter to William and Kate in a Sunday reading, in part: “We have no reason to celebrate your grandmother’s 70th anniversary on the British throne because her leadership and that of her predecessors caused The greatest human rights tragedy in human history. ”

One of the protest leaders, writer Opal Palmer Adisa, told Sky News: “Kate and William are beneficiaries, so they are, in effect, complicit because they are positioned to benefit specifically from our ancestors, and we do not benefit from our ancestors. me. The luxury and lifestyle they had and continue to have, traveling the world for free without cost, was the result of their blood, tears and sweat. ”

Within hours of landing for their two-day tour of Jamaica, William and Kate ticked many of the classic Jamaican boxes, including saying hello Exciting running The Jamaican sled team and visited Bob Marley’s home. Although they received a rapturous welcome from the crowd in Trench Town, critics are likely to consider this appeal to be particularly hypocritical. Indeed, the open letter from the Network of Advocates, specifically mentioning Marley, says: “As a Rastafarian, Bob Marley demonstrates support for and is globally recognized for the principles. human rights, equality, compensation and repatriation.”

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit the Trench Town Stadium Museum, where Bob Marley once lived, on day four of the Platinum Royal Caribbean Tour on March 22, 2022 in Kingston, Jamaica.

Swimming Pool / Samir Hussein / WireImage

Jamaican lawyer and activist, Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, author of This is why I am against, tweeted that the royal tour was “a total failure. Times have changed and situations have changed. This Platinum Jubilee tour is hard to listen to. The British monarchy faced a reckoning. “

ITV News, meanwhile, reported that a source The Jamaican government has told them the country will begin the process of stripping the queen of her title of head of state “as soon as” William and Kate fly home. A royal aide Talk to Daily mail, on the matter of the country becoming a republic: “The Duke and Duchess say it is a matter for the people and government of Jamaica.” Their office did not respond to questions from The Daily Beast.

Whether the process is slow or fast remains to be seen, but it seems inevitable that Jamaica and six other Caribbean nations will ultimately still consider the queen as head of state. follow the lead of Barbados, fired her last year and became a republic. Charles attended the handover.

However, royal commentator Duncan Larcombe, former royal editor at Sun, said it would be a mistake to write the tour as a failure, especially when taking into account the impact back home: “Judging by the coverage in the UK, this tour is really going. down very well; The story is the beautiful clothes of Kate and the new royal power couple William and Kate. It didn’t go down too well in some areas of the places they visited, but that’s just to be expected. Surprisingly, people are still pouring out in large numbers to see them, and that’s really a sign of whether a tour is going well. If two people show up, It’s a a disaster.”

Emily Andrews, a royal writer and former royal correspondent for Mail on Sunday who has been on countless royal tours, told The Daily Beast: “I think they expect outcry and coverage of said objection. They had never been to the Caribbean before so it was good that they went and there seemed to be a lot of positivity and joy when they were there. “

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at Norman Manley International Airport to visit Jamaica as part of the Royal Tour of the Caribbean on 22 March 2022 in Kingston, Jamaica.

Karwai Tang / WireImage

However, Andrews added that the couple’s “optics” of appearing to be having a fun holiday are suboptimal, saying, “It’s always nice to see William and Kate enjoying fun things, but also there’s a war.”

The last time a royal visited Jamaica, it was Prince Harry dancing in blue suede boots on the streets of Kingston and snagging a questionable sprint victory over Usain Bolt. Would the royal tour undertaken by Harry and Meghan today be any different?

British Jamaican theologian Dr, Robert Beckford, told The Daily Beast by email: “Meghan, a woman of dual blood, who lived a more diverse and international existence than most Most prominent Royals, there will be more respect and sensitivity for the colony (continuing the impact of colonial heritage). They have lost a real asset to the tensions and history of historic racism in the Commonwealth (yet). However, you must ask yourself, who advised the royal family on sensitive issues of colonial history? GBTV? ”

Beckford added: “I think the failure of the royal family to appreciate the changing political temperature on its colonial heritage in the Caribbean is at best clumsy and at worst arrogance.

“It is time for them to reflect on their role in the trade and subjugation of the millions of enslaved Africans in the West Indies. Apologies, remorse and restitution are now the minimum required for royals to atone for their historic wrongdoing and illicit enrichment. Maybe a more diverse ‘company’ would raise awareness of history and culture. “

Tonight, William has a chance to start that conversation. Will he take it, and if so, how will he frame it and phrase it?





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