The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have flown into another storm in The Bahamas as islanders piled more pressure on the Royal Family over slave trade reparations amid a growing movement on Caribbean islands to remove the Queen as head of state.
The duo landed in Nassau last night after a bumpy visit to Jamaica that sparked demonstrations and allowed prime minister Andrew Holness to further his campaign to become a republic. A visit in Belize this week had to be rearranged over worries it could be disrupted.
As they touched down at Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, Bahamas, to begin the last leg of their tour, Prince William and Kate were met by members of the military and eight-year-old local resident Aniah Moss, who presented the couple with a bouquet of flowers in front of the Royal Air Force Voyagers aircraft.
They then met the country’s Prime Minister Philip Davis, who gave them a portrait and said their visit to the island was long overdue, and as Kate wore duck egg blue to match the country’s flag, Mr Davis told them that their best wishes were sent to the Queen, and congratulations on her Platinum Jubilee and that he did not think they would see the same again, to which William nodded.
Mr Davis sidestepped any talk of independence and said they spoke about climate change, with the prospective king promising to do all he could to support their work to restore The Bahamas’ coral reefs. Mr Davis said last year that any independence referendum was not on the agenda but acknowledged that could change if voters demanded it. But one of his senior ministers said recently it was his life’s work to be truly independent of Britain.
And on the eve of the Cambridges’ arrival in The Bahamas, the island nation’s National Reparations Committee called for millions of pounds to be paid in reparations for the British monarchy’s role in slavery.
The explosive letter read: ‘They and their family of royals and their government must acknowledge that their diverse economy was built on the backs of our ancestors. And then, they must pay. We, the children of those victims, owe it to our ancestors to remember. We owe it to our ancestors to demand a reckoning and to demand accountability, healing, and justice.
‘The Duke and Duchess may not be compelled to make such a declaration during their visit to our shores. They may not be able at this time to speak on behalf of the Queen and their government. However, they can no longer ignore the devastation of their heritage.’
However, should anyone that’s alive today be accountable for slavery, child labour or any other ills of the past? And is it our place to give reparations to anyone for this?
Slavery from the past is hardly William, Catherine’s or the Queen’s responsibility, and even if they did apologise for it, it definitely won’t alter history, all we can do is learn from it.
It’s time that these countries had their independence, but Royalty will always be associated with the Empire which will always be associated with colonialism, which will always be associated with slavery, although no one has mentioned modern slavery that’s prolific all over the world.
Sometimes the past belongs in the past, but if we forget then mistakes happen over and over again, and all these tours that the Royal Family do are just an endless string of tours, endless changing of outfits and jewellery and out of touch speeches.