The Royals’ visit to Jamaica has been met with more protests
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wed March 23, 2022 – The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Jamaica on Tuesday, March 22, amid widespread protests as well as calls for the country to follow in Barbados’ footsteps and become a republic . After a two-hour flight from Belize, the royal couple landed at Norman Manley International Airport, marking the start of a two-night visit to the island nation. There they were greeted by several Jamaican government officials and other dignitaries, including members of parliament and former Miss World Lisa Hanna (representing Opposition Leader Mark Golding and the People’s Nation Party ), Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, and Chief of the Jamaican Defense Staff, Rear Admiral Antonette Wemess Gorman.
Departing from the airport, the Duke and Duchess visited King’s House, where they met the Governor General of Jamaica, Sir Patrick Linton Allen, and his wife, Lady Denise Allen. The couple also visited the birthplace of reggae music, Trench Town, where they played nyabinghi drums at the Trench Town Culture Yard Museum, former home of reggae music legend Bob Marley (who often sang to stand against the ‘oppression).
Additionally, the trip to Trench Town saw Duke footballers hail Raheem Sterling and Leon Bailey as their ‘heroes’. He also met Olympic sprinters Shelley-Ann Fraser Price and Elaine Thompson-Herah.
Several hours before the Duke and Duchess’ plane landed on the island, however, around 100 protesters gathered outside the office of the British High Commission as part of the protest organized by Advocates Network Jamaica titled ” Seh Yuh Sorry”. The visit even drew comments from the proclaimed King of Dancehall, Beenie Man, who told reporters on Good Morning Britain that Jamaicans “don’t want the Queen”.
According to reports, the prince and his wife are fully aware of the protests and Prince William is expected to acknowledge the issue during the visit.
The second day of the royal couple’s visit to Jamaica included a meeting with Prime Minister Andrew Holness and his wife, Juliet Holness. The Prime Minister, who during his election campaigns has vowed to push for Jamaica to become a republic, presented the Duke and Duchess with a gift of Appleton Estate Ruby Rum and said Jamaica was happy to support them. to have. He also acknowledged the protests, saying they are a demonstration of freedom of speech and an example of how the country is “free and liberal”.
“There are issues here that as you know are unresolved, but your presence provides an opportunity to put those issues into context, bring them to the fore and resolve them as best we can.” , said Prime Minister Holness, who mentioned his goals of seeing Jamaica prosper as an “independent, developed and prosperous country”.
The royal couple also visited Shortwood Teachers College, where they met future early childhood educators, and toured the college’s primary and nursery school. Later, they stopped at Spanish Town Hospital, where they met frontline workers and learned about their experiences during the pandemic.
The final leg of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Caribbean tour is the Bahamas, where they are also expected to spend two nights before departing for the UK on March 26. As was the case in Belize and Jamaica, some Bahamian groups demonstrated. the visit, with the Bahamas National Reparations Committee issuing a statement expressing disappointment that the Bahamas is bearing much of the cost of the “extravagant trip” and declaring that “the time has come for reparations”.