While on tour in the Caribbean on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, were met with a protest.
The goal of the eight-day trip was initially to strengthen ties with Commonwealth nations however, their stop in Belize was cancelled by a protest and the Jamaican prime minister announcing that the country plans to break away from the British monarchy.
William gave a compelling speech this past Wednesday about the queen’s connection to Jamaica, just hours after Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said in a speech that the island nation is “moving on” from the British monarchy and plans to remove the queen as its head of state.
The Duke of Cambridge, who is second in line to the throne behind his father, spoke on Britain’s history of slavery in Jamaica but did not offer an apology during his speech at a dinner hosted by the country’s governor-general.
“I want to express my profound sorrow,” he went on to share. “Slavery was abhorrent, and it should never have happened.”
The announcement by Holness comes four months after another Caribbean nation, Barbados, celebrated cutting ties with the queen and becoming an independent republic.
William’s comments also came after dozens of protesters gathered in Kingston demanding an apology and reparations.
Jamaica was once a British colony where hundreds of thousands of Africans were forced to work as slaves on its plantations. Slavery was formally abolished on the island in 1834.
“The appalling atrocity of slavery forever stains our history,” William said in his speech.
“While the pain runs deep, Jamaica continues to forge its future with determination, courage and fortitude.”
The protest come after the ones in Belize which led to the duke and ducess cancelling their first engagement of the trip. The royal couple also got heat for a photo which showed the them greeting children in Trench Town, Jamaica, through a wire fence.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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