THE ROYALS - As Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, prepare for a trip to Jamaica, many well-known leaders in the country are demanding an apology and slave reparations from Great Britain who once colonized the Caribbean country, according to the Associated Press.
We are not letting up on the Prince William, are we? Two weeks ago, Prince William received some criticism from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter, Bernice King, for his controversial remarks on the Ukraine War in which he said that war is “alien” to Europe.
Their trip to Jamaica is part of a larger visit to the Caribbean region that also coincides with the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence and the 70th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
A letter signed by over 100 Jamaica leaders, read, “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, have perpetuated the greatest human rights tragedy in the history of humankind.”
The letter continued, “During her 70 years on the throne, your grandmother has done nothing to redress and atone for the suffering of our ancestors that took place during her reign and/or during the entire period of British trafficking of Africans, enslavement, indentureship and colonialization.”
They also stated that they will not participate in the Platinum Jubilee celebration for Queen Elizabeth II.
The British Royal family’s tour of Central America and the Caribbean was meant to strengthen the ties between Britain and Commonwealth countries, but it has not gone as planned as some countries are considering cutting ties with Britain as Barbados did in November 2021, according to the Associated Press.
Citizens in Belize protested the royals’ visit to the country so much so that Royals canceled their trip planned for Saturday to a cacao farm.
From the Associated Press:
Hundreds of thousands of African slaves toiled in Jamaica under more than 300 years of British rule and faced brutal conditions. There were numerous bloody rebellions, with one woman called “Queen Nanny” leading a group of formerly enslaved Africans known as Jamaican Maroons whose guerrilla warfare became renown and battered British forces. “Queen Nanny” remains the sole female of Jamaica’s eight national heroes.
During their trip to Jamaica, Prince William and Kate are also expected to celebrate the life and legacy of Bob Marley, a plan that has angered Jaimaicans, according to the Associated Press.
The letter from Jamaican leaders said, “As a Rastafarian, Bob Marley embodied advocacy and is recognized globally for the principles of human rights, equality, reparations and repatriation. Use these words to create a new narrative and reality of PEACE for your generation and generations to come.”
Although the group will not celebrate the Queen’s 70th anniversary, they will celebrate their own freedom.
(Noah McGee is a staff writer for The Root specializing in Arts and Entertainment, Crime and Justice. This article was originally published in The Root.)