As Kate and William arrived in Jamaica on Tuesday, protesters gathered to criticize the visit and demand compensation for slavery.
Demonstrators gathered outside the British representation in Kingston on Tuesday to protest against the visit of Prince William and his wife Kate to Jamaica, on the occasion of the jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, who celebrates her 70th anniversary in 2022.
The protesters demanded that the monarchy, a former colonial power, pay compensation and apologize for its role in the slave trade which brought hundreds of thousands of Africans to the island to work in inhumane conditions.
“I am here to represent my ancestors who died as slaves and were killed by the oppression of white people,” said Clement “Jawari” Deslandes, who had been demonstrating since the morning before the arrival of the princely couple.
A series of failures
He explained that he felt it was an insult to his ancestors that “a member of royalty comes here without a care, without feeling remorse”. “They have this privilege of nobility,” he said. “They can get here and we have to roll out the red carpet for them. Those days are over,” he said.
William and Kate’s Caribbean tour has already suffered a setback with the cancellation last week of the first stop in a village in Belize, due to a dispute between the local population and a charity of which William is the sponsor. The visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who must then go to the Bahamas, comes at a time when voices are being raised in Jamaica to follow the example of Barbados, which became a republic in 2021.
Jamaica, colonized by the Spanish after the arrival of Christopher Columbus, came under the yoke of the British crown in 1655, which used slavery to develop the island’s economy. Having become independent in 1962, the island remains a parliamentary monarchy whose head of state is Queen Elizabeth II of England.