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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have boarded a flight to Jamaica and waved goodbye to Belize as they prepare to face further anti-royal protests during their tour of the Caribbean.
A coalition of Jamaican politicians, business leaders, doctors and musicians have called in an open letter for the British monarchy to pay slavery reparations as the country marks its 60th anniversary.
And the group are expected to stage a protest today outside the British High Commission in Kingston, when William and Kate are due to arrive in the country for a two-day visit as part of their Caribbean tour.
The letter, quoted by The Independent newspaper, says: ‘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.
‘Many Jamaicans are unaware of your visit as they struggle to cope with the horrendous fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, exacerbated by pre-existing social and economic hardships inherited from our colonial past.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a reception hosted by the Governor General of Belize at Cahal Pech yesterday
A group of Jamaican leaders are expected to stage a protest outside the British High Commission in Kingston (file image)
‘We also note that your visit is part of the celebrations to mark the 70th Anniversary (Platinum Jubilee) of the coronation of your grandmother – and the 60th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence.
‘We see no reason to celebrate 70 years of the ascension of your grandmother to the British throne because we believe her leadership, and that of her predecessors, have perpetuated the greatest human rights tragedy in the history of humankind.’
Also today, dancehall musician Beenie Man – real name Anthony Moses Davis – said Jamaicans do not want Prince William to visit because they are still ‘controlled by the British’ and the royals are ‘not doing anything for us’.
The Jamaican artist told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘We are just here, controlled by the British, ruled by the British law when you go in the court, it’s all about the Queen and the Queen serve and the Queen this and that.
‘But what are they doing for Jamaica? They’re not doing anything for us. If Harry was coming people would react different, people are going to meet Harry, but William… we don’t want to see that.’
Kate and William will arrive in Jamaica today on what is the next stop on their eight day tour of the Caribbean, and receive a official welcome into the country.
William and Kate yesterday at the Mayan ruins at Cahal Pech in Belize, hosted by Belize’s Governor General Froyla Tzalam
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge dressed to impress at a reception hosted by the Governor General of Belize yesterday
The Duchess of Cambridge speaks with guests as she attends a special reception at the Mayan ruins at Cahal Pech yesterday
They will then travel to King’s House for a meeting with the Governor General of Jamaica Sir Patrick Linton Allen and later celebrate the sporting and musical heritage of Jamaica.
The Cambridges will stay in Jamaica until Thursday when they depart for the Bahamas. Opposition in Jamaica comes after the couple’s tour began in controversial circumstances in Belize.
Kate and William were forced to pull out of their first major engagement following protests from villagers who were angry at being told they had to tidy up their football field to allow the couple’s helicopter to land in it so they could visit a nearby cocoa farm. They accused the visit of perpetuating colonialism.
The engagement was replaced with a visit to a chocolate producer before the royals travelled to the cultural centre of the Garifuna community in Hopkins.
The demonstrators are involved in a long-running row with state officials over what they say was communal land taken from them during the British colonial era which has now been bought by a conservation charity that William is patron of.
The Duchess of Cambridge drinks water from a vine at the British Army Training Support Unit (BATSUB) in Belize yesterday
The Duchess of Cambridge was pictured learning tropical forest survival techniques with the Duke in Belize yesterday
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the British Army Training Support Unit (BATSUB) in Belize yesterday
The Duke and Duchess visit the British Army Training Support Unit (BATSUB) in Belize yesterday
The couple were taught how to survive, live and fight in the jungle environment by troops in Belize yesterday
It comes as William said yesterday that the ‘vigilance’ needed to safeguard democracy was being tested in Ukraine as he reiterated his pledge to ‘stand with them in solidarity’.
The Duke’s words of support came as his tour of Belize with the duchess drew to a close, and he quoted from the Queen’s 1994 address to the country’s parliament which highlighted how individuals needed to work together to safeguard freedoms.
And in a lighter moment the duke revealed his son Prince George keeps up with his parents’ international trips by sticking pins in a map.
Speaking in the shadow of the Maya ruins at Cahal Pech, near San Ignacio, at a reception hosted by the Governor General Froya Tzalam, William quoted from the Queen’s 1994 speech.
He told the guests: ‘She said ‘I am proud to associate myself with your determination that social justice and personal freedom should flourish under the rule of law.
Kate yesterday in Hopkins, a village on the coast which is considered to be cultural centre of the Garifuna community in Belize
The Duke of Cambridge dances during a traditional Garifuna festival in Belize yesterday during the tour of the country
William quickly got his wife involved in the dancing in Belize as bystanders gathered to take pictures of the royal couple
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge showed off their incredible dance moves much to the delight of Belize crowds yesterday
Prince William was seen in hysterics as he tried to show off his moves whilst dancing during a Garifuna festival yesterday
‘It is always dangerous, however, to be complacent and to assume that democratic values will look after themselves. Vigilance in protecting them is needed’.’
In his speech delivered in the early hours, he added: ‘Her Majesty went on to say that ‘Most of all, democracy is safe-guarded by teamwork – the individual wills of all citizens, each pulling together towards the same objective’.
‘Sadly, elsewhere in the world, that vigilance is being tested today in Ukraine. Belize has joined many others in condemning the invasion and standing up for the principles of international law, peace and security.
‘Today we think of those struggling in Ukraine and we stand with them in solidarity.’
William, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have all spoken out in support of Ukraine in recent weeks, as the country battles Russian forces after President Vladimir Putin’s troops invaded the country almost four weeks ago.
Villagers in Indian Creek staged a protest over the visit of Prince William and Kate to Belize last Friday
The charm offensive in Belize got off to a rocky start last Friday when villagers in Indian Creek (pictured) staged a protest
The duke also passed on the ‘very warmest wishes from my grandmother, the Queen of Belize’, on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee’.
Speaking about his son George during the reception held to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the duke said ‘We let them know where we are and he finds us on the map and puts a pin in it and shares with the others.’
The duchess wowed the guests wearing a stunning vibrant metallic pink dress designed by Vampire’s Wife with a Maya embroidered bag.
The couple met community leaders, well-known Belizeans, and members of Government, in the presence of the Prime Minister, Johnny Brienco.
In his speech William also highlighted Belize’s fight against Covid telling the guests: ‘The last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic have been hugely challenging but it is reassuring to have heard from so many people that things are on the up.’
Source: Daily Mail