The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge were accused of profiting from slaves’ blood, tears and sweat as they arrived in Jamaica. They were met by protests calling for reparations by the British monarchy.
William and Kate will celebrate Jamaica’s culture and history. In recent years, politicians have called for Jamaica to remove the Queen from the head of state position and create a republic.
The backdrop of Black Lives Matter, which inspired many across the globe to fight for equality, has seen anti-colonial sentiment grow in the Caribbean.
Protesters gathered in front of the British High Commission Kingston with one placard, which was held by a small girl and read: “Kings Queens, Princesses, Princes and Princes belong to fairytales, not Jamaica!”
According to royal sources, the duke was aware that protests were taking place and would likely acknowledge slavery during Wednesday’s speech at a dinner hosted in Jamaica by Governor General.
Opal Adisa is a retired professor in her 60s who is a gender specialist as well as a human rights advocate. She works with the coalition and wanted to make the gathering an advocacy network meeting, rather than a protest.
She stated that Kate and William were beneficiaries. They are in fact complicit as they are in a position to benefit from our ancestors and we are not.
“The luxury and lifestyle they had, and continue to have, traipsing around the globe for free with no expenses, that’s a result of my great-great grandmother and grandfather, their blood, tears, and sweat.
She agreed to a call for an apology and said that the monarchy should offer “economic social reparation”, including “building us proper hospitals, providing and ensuring that our children receive college-level education, and making certain that land is equally distributed.”
Ms. Adisa stated that an apology was the first step to healing and reconciliation.
She said: “You know what, we don’t have anything personal against Kate and Prince William. Even the Queen for that matter. But we’re just saying that you’ve done wrong. It is past time that your admit you’ve done wrong.
“It’s outrageous that the government spends money to provide security and financial support for duke and duchess who are wealthy is criminal.
“Because the Caribbean has had enough, Belize did the same thing. We are just saying enough is enough.
“Enough is enough. Let’s get rid of this racism and discrimination.”
This comes just 60 days after the Advocates Network coalition consisting of Jamaican politicians and business leaders wrote an open letter outlining 60 reasons why the monarchy should compensate Jamaica to celebrate the country’s 60th year of independence.
William and Kate will remain in Jamaica until Thursday, when they leave for the Bahamas.
The opposition of Belizean villagers to the tour was raised earlier in the tour. They cited a variety of issues, including objections to the landing site for the Cambridges’ helicopter. This caused a visit to a cacao plant to be cancelled .
The visit was replaced by a visit to a chocolatier before the couple traveled to Hopkins, where they visited the Garifuna cultural centre.