By Benjamin Cooper and Tony Jones, The Press Association —
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Caribbean tour faces further protests with Jamaican campaigners accusing the Queen and her predecessors of perpetuating slavery.
As the country marks its 60th anniversary, a coalition of Jamaican politicians, business leaders, doctors and musicians have called in an open letter for the British monarchy to pay slavery reparations.
“We note with great concern your visit to our country Jamaica, during a period when we are still in the throes of a global pandemic and bracing for the full impact of another global crisis associated with the Russian/Ukraine war,” the letter states, according to a section quoted by The Independent’s race correspondent Nadine White.
“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.”
It is believed the group will stage a protest on Tuesday outside the British High Commission in Kingston, with the royals due to arrive that day in Jamaica where they will stay until Thursday when they depart for the Bahamas.
The apparent opposition in Jamaica comes after the tour began in controversial circumstances when opposition from villagers in Belize, who cited a range of issues including objections to the Cambridges’ helicopter landing site, forced a royal trip to a farm on Sunday to be scrapped.
It was replaced with a visit to a chocolate producer before the royals travelled to the cultural centre of the Garifuna community in Hopkins.
The Cambridges were on Monday due to visit stunning ancient Maya ruins deep in the heartland of Belize.
William and Kate will be given a tour of the site and have the chance to take in Caana, or sky palace, which remains the tallest man-made structure in Belize.
The duke visited Belize as a teenager in 2000, when he reportedly learned jungle survival techniques with the Welsh Guards who were receiving training from the British Army Training Support Unit as part of Exercise Native Trail.
William was beginning a gap year before university at the time and while in the jungle, the then 18-year-old duke learned his A level results.
The last engagement of the day will see the couple attend a reception hosted by the Governor General of Belize at the Maya ruins at Cahal Pech, near San Ignacio.
This special reception will be held in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum and William will give a speech.
During their first full day in Belize on Sunday, the couple toured a cocoa farm and danced during a cultural visit to a nearby village.
Source: The Press Association
Featured image: Prince William and Catherine in Belize on March 20 (Chris Jackson, Pool, Getty Images).