Protesters gathered outside the British delegation in Kingston on Tuesday to protest the visit of Prince William and his wife Kate to Jamaica to mark the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign in 2022.
Protesters demanded that the former colonial power monarchy compensate and apologize for its role in the slave trade that brought hundreds of thousands of Africans to the island to work in inhumane conditions.
“I have come here to represent my ancestors who died as slaves and were killed by the oppression of whites,” said Clement “Jawari” Deslandus, who had been protesting since the morning before the prince’s couple’s arrival.
He explained that he felt that “someone from the royal family coming here without any worries or regrets” was an insult to his ancestors.
“They have this aristocratic privilege,” he said. “They can come here and we should roll out the red carpet for them. That era is over, ” he said.
William and Gates’ Caribbean tour has already suffered a setback, with the first stop in a village in Belize being canceled last week due to a dispute between locals and a charity that William sponsors.
At a time when voices are being raised in Jamaica to follow the example of Barbados, who became a republic in 2021, the arrival of the Duke of Cambridge and the Duchess should then move to the Bahamas.
Jamaica, colonized by the Spaniards after the arrival of Christopher Columbus, passed in 1655 under the yoke of the British crown, which used slavery to improve the island’s economy.
Since independence in 1962, the island has been a parliamentary monarchy, headed by Queen Elizabeth II of England.
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