Tough showdown during Prince William’s Caribbean tour

The event was to celebrate the attachment of the British monarchy to the former colonies, on the occasion of the 70 years of reign of Elizabeth II. Prince William’s Caribbean tour has resulted in a tough showdown, a sign of the difficulties awaiting royalty.

• Read also: Demonstration in Jamaica once morest the visit of William and Kate

• Read also: Prince William and his wife Kate express their support for Ukrainians

In Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas, three independent Commonwealth countries of which Elizabeth II is the head of state, the 39-year-old prince and his wife Kate have been called to apologize for the United Kingdom’s slavery past. Demonstrations and desires to cut the cord have often overshadowed the beautiful images and glowing articles generally marking the travels of the adored couple of the British and their formidable tabloids.

The British royal family benefited from the “blood, sweat and tears” of slaves, the Bahamas National Reparations Committee has claimed, calling for reparations following colonized territories and peoples were “looted” for centuries .

For his part, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness considered his country’s transition to a republican regime “inevitable”, as Barbados did last November.

According to the Jamaican Rastafarian poet and activist Mutabaruka, independence would change the way the people “perceive themselves”. “It’s not going to change the price of food but it does have psychological implications in the minds and consciousness of the people,” he told The Jamaican Observer newspaper.

“Queen Elizabeth is the Queen of England, not Jamaica. She should stay in England, ”says Tameka Thomas, saleswoman met by AFP on the sidelines of the princely visit.

These claims seem to announce difficult times for the monarchy, especially when Charles will become king on the death of Elizabeth II, soon to be 96 years old, very popular and very attached to the Commonwealth.

The role played by the British monarchy in the slave trade dates back to the 16th century, when Queen Elizabeth 1st financed one of the great slavers of the time, John Hawkins.

In the 17th century, King Charles II had encouraged the slave trade, investing private funds in the Royal African Company, which transported hundreds of thousands of men, women and children from side to side. another of the Atlantic in inhumane conditions.

Later, the future King William IV will try to oppose the abolitionist movement. In vain. The transatlantic slave trade was banned in 1807 in the United Kingdom, in 1833 in all British territories.

If it has returned in recent years to its slavery past, Charles describing slavery as a “terrible atrocity” and his son William expressing his “deep sadness” this week, the royal family has not formally pronounced any apology.

Related Articles:  A Cell 'Hyperlink' That Can Empty Your Financial institution Account - Life & Type

The criticisms surrounding the princely visit to the Caribbean illustrate the recent work of introspection of the United Kingdom on its colonial past, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. Calls to remove statues and monuments of historical figures linked to slavery and racism have multiplied there, giving rise to sometimes difficult debates.

For Olivette Otele, professor of the history and memory of slavery at the University of Bristol, the protests in the Caribbean were predictable, especially following the scandal in recent years over the fate of the “Windrush generation” who came to help rebuild of the United Kingdom following the Second World War.

These tens of thousands of Caribbean immigrants who arrived legally were then deprived of their rights, or even expelled for lack of the necessary documents.

“Apologies were never enough,” says Professor Otele. “They are an important step (…) but nowadays people want more. They want change”.

“If the purpose of the visit is to keep these countries (under the British crown) and to keep the Queen in charge of these states (the royal family) may not have understood that the debate is broader here” , she says. “It’s regarding inequality, poverty and the legacy of the past.”

Ahead of festivities planned for June in the UK to celebrate 70 years of the reign of Elizabeth II, she warns: “As magnificent as the Jubilee is (in the UK), it seems awkward to wait for the people celebrate it without looking at what is happening there”.

In any case, Prince William did not stay away from the debate on Friday during a reception in Nassau. “Next year, I know you are all looking forward to celebrating 50 years of independence – your golden anniversary. And with Jamaica celebrating 60 years of independence this year, and Belize celebrating 40 years of independence last year, I want to tell you this: we proudly and respectfully support your decisions regarding your future. Relationships evolve. The friendship remains,” he said.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.