Prince William said on Friday that the British royal family would support Bahama’s decisions about his future, in the third stop of a Caribbean tour that has been met with protests in a region that increasingly weighs on its future relations with the UK monarchy.
Speaking at a reception hosted by the Governor General of the Bahamas in Nassau, William, whose official title is Duke of Cambridge, marked the upcoming 50th anniversary of the former colony’s independence from Britain.
“And with Jamaica celebrating 60 years of independence this year, and Belize celebrating 40 years of independence last year, I want to say this: We proudly support and respect your decisions about your future,” said William.
“Relationships evolve. The friendship endures.”
Prince William and Kate’s tour was meant to mark the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.
But instead it has been met with protests and accusations of being a “colonial tour”.
In Jamaica on Tuesday, protesters carrying signs outside the British High Commission ahead of the royals’ arrival demanded that the monarchy pay reparations and apologize for its role in the slave trade that brought hundreds of thousands of Africans to the island to work in inhumane conditions. .
Prime Minister Andrew Holness then pointedly told William in front of television cameras that the nation was “moving forward” as an independent country.
The visit follows growing calls for Jamaica to follow Barbados and become a republic by getting rid of the queen as head of state.
William during that trip expressed his “deep sorrow” for the history of slavery, calling the practice “abhorrent.”
“It should never have happened,” he said.
But so far, the British royal family has not issued any formal apology.
The visit came as Britain increasingly confronts its colonial past, particularly its monuments to historical figures linked to the slave trade.
Source Credit: TheGuardian