- William and Kate are considered the figureheads of the British royal family.
- But what about the monarchy and the Queen’s reputation when even the popular royal couple – as happened this week during their Caribbean trip – is confronted with protests?
- When asked by our editors, RTL aristocracy expert Michael Begasse classified the intention of this official trip and explained that this “charm offensive” is intended to prevent a “domino effect”.
Almost eleven years ago, Prince William and Duchess Kate said yes. It was the beginning of a dream marriage that still suits the British royal family today. While William’s brother Harry and his wife Meghan broke up with the British population (and ultimately because of the “Megxit” with the Royal Family) shortly after their own wedding, the sympathy values of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are increasing from year to year further up.
In short: all hearts fly towards the small family, which was completed with the birth of their children George, Charlotte and Louis – and that far beyond the home palace walls. Modern, eloquent, close to the people: this is how the public knows and appreciates the royal couple.
“This trip is an investment in the future of the future king”
Against this background, the reports that made their way from the distant Caribbean to Europe this week are all the more surprising. During their trip through Central America, namely Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas, the two royals had to endure protests – with a view to the colonial past of the British monarchy.
But what exactly is behind it? Why did William and Kate take the risk in the first place? And could this trip damage the couple’s glamorous image to date? Michael Begasse classified the royal Caribbean earthquake. The RTL nobility expert makes it clear: “William and Kate are doing it out of their own interest. This trip is an investment in their future as the future king and future queen of Great Britain.”
Jamaica: The former hub of the slave trade in the Caribbean
On paper, the two royals are of course there on behalf of the Queen – to celebrate the regent’s jubilee in the countries where she has held the scepter in her hand for 70 years. The Caribbean countries that William and Kate travel to are independent countries, as are Canada, New Zealand and Australia, for example.
However, as in 14 countries around the world, Elizabeth II still acts as head of state. Since Prince Charles, who will one day succeed his mother to the throne, can only be a transitional king at the age of 73, according to Begasse, William and Kate must “already do everything to ensure that they do not lose these Caribbean countries, so to speak”.
“Because,” the expert adds, “there are groups who wonder why the British queen is their head of state. A queen whose ancestors were responsible for Jamaica being the hub of the slave trade in the Caribbean, for example.” . After there has been no official apology, Prince William has now shown in Jamaica that he has recognized the signs of the times and that the crown must finally take responsibility for the past.
His statement: “I join my father in saying last year in Barbados that the horrendous cruelty of slavery will forever stain our history. I want to express my deep sadness. Slavery was abhorrent and should never have happened.”
Nobility expert Begasse: “William and Kate were prepared for it”
It’s no secret that “during the time of their world domination (keyword: British Empire), the British only acted out of their own economic calculations,” Begasse points out. For this reason, William and Kate were not in the least surprised that they also faced dissenting voices as part of their official trip.
There is no danger of image damage – on the contrary. “Both were and were prepared for it – and they do it perfectly. A crown can’t be represented better,” explains the nobility expert and, in his analysis, pleads for a more differentiated view of the protest actions on site: “We’re talking here from 250 to 300 people, so it’s not a mass movement.”
The Caribbean trip is about preventing a domino effect. Begasse specifies: “William and Kate want to secure the countries they have visited for their own reigns. Barbados went off the rails last year. There are primarily only 14 countries where Elizabeth II is queen.” In order to prevent other countries from jumping on the bandwagon and breaking free from the crown, every nation is important from a British perspective.
Jamaica hints at departure from British monarchy
As a result, the suggestion by Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness that he would bid farewell to the British monarchy in the foreseeable future should have caused at least some disquiet in London. The island nation, which will celebrate 60 years of independence in August, could trigger such a domino effect.
“I have expressed to the Duke that it is inevitable that we move towards becoming a republic, fulfilling the will of the Jamaican people and our ambitions to become an independent, developed and prosperous country,” he tweeted Holness.
Should Jamaica follow through with action, the scenario of a “wildfire,” as Begasse calls it, would not be out of the question: “Of course that would be conceivable. During the course of her reign, the Queen had to grant independence to more than 30 countries.” The queen is smart enough to be aware of this danger.
It is precisely for this reason that she did not commission Charles, the heir to the throne, but William and Kate to embark on the strategically important journey, as Begasse explains: “In the eyes of the young population, Prince Charles feels the same age as the Queen. On the other hand, William and Kate for the new generation. You don’t run the risk of being in that racist haze. Because let’s face it, of course this is about racism.”
That is why many states need close ties with London
To calm things down, the regent, who will be 96 in April, has sent her young, modern figureheads to places where others vacation. This persuasion by the popular couple on the spot is a glimmer of hope for the royal family to keep criticism of the monarchy as small as possible.
Another is an economic and political factor that, according to the nobility expert, should not be forgotten: “The Caribbean states concerned will weigh up their decision carefully. After all, they also take advantage of the fact that they are closely linked to the British crown. In other words : You need this alliance with London.”
As a specific example, Begasse cites Belize, which has a large western neighbor in Mexico and is still involved in border disputes with Guatemala. For a small country like Belize it is therefore an advantage to have the British at its side when in doubt.
This starting point, the prince’s recent apologetic words and the charm offensive by William and Kate as a possible tip of the scales: the British royal family currently has no more trumps in its hands to prevent a domino effect in the Caribbean.
Protesters demanded reparations for slavery and an apology from the British Crown.