That won’t be the case this time. There has been a steady stream of negative headlines coming from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to the Caribbean and they have outweighed the more positive coverage that is certainly there.
Not that William and Kate did anything different this time around. Their trip still has all the hallmarks of a traditional royal visit: dancing, sporting events with a national hero, glamorous dinners and speeches. But what seems to have changed is the tone around these trips, and they may need to adapt to that if the “winning” travel headlines return.
CNN is not on this tour, but we have traveled extensively with family. In our experience, there are always republican and anti-monarchical protests, something royals usually don’t have problems with.
The family believes in self-determination, so if a country wanted to replace the Queen with an elected president as head of state they would support it, as demonstrated by Prince Charles, who attended. and endorse the oath of office of the new President. of Barbados last year.
But over the past few years, those protests have changed. They still want to break ties with the monarchy, but it’s not just about independence and the future. It also deals with the past, and in many areas of the Commonwealth, it is about the slave trade and Britain’s role in it. Many in the former British colonies also wanted an apology and reparation.
The royal family’s connection to slavery dates back to the 16th century. According to an article in the UK’s national archives, Queen Elizabeth I provided slave trader John Hawkins with one. Her ship was “particularly for the purpose of capturing Africans on the coast of West Africa”. Subsequent members of the royal family invested heavily in the slave trade. Many large stately homes in Britain today were built on the profits of slavery and colonial exploitation.
The Duke touched on the subject, discussing England’s historic role in slavery in his only speech during the couple’s stop in Jamaica, denouncing the “horrible” practice. disgusting” and expressed his “deep sadness”.
For many, that’s still not enough. A formal apology and acceptance of responsibility will open the door to questions about financial resilience. That is the domain of the UK government, not the royal family. When it comes to matters of state, members of the royal family act on the advice of ministers, so it is necessary to first agree with the government an apology or compensation.
Earlier in the day, in what appeared to be a tense meeting, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness suggested the couple’s trip to Jamaica could be the last with a British monarch as head of state. countries, telling them the country is “moving forward” and will be achieved. Its “real ambition” is “independence.”
For critics, the royal tours are a celebration of an old-fashioned British monarchy, but they’re hard work for everyone involved and the reality is that they just show off. issued at the request of the host country, which is through the British government. It’s about promoting UK Brands and strengthening international relationships. And royals are considered by the Foreign Office to be the ultimate tool of publicity and an important national asset.
British-American playwright, author and columnist Bonnie Greer said the royal tour model was “quite classic” and needed to be addressed “immediately.” She suggested one way to modernize them would be to ask organizers of a potential host country “to find a way to ask people if they’d like a tour and give it to the Royal Family. ”
However, there are others who believe that tours are relic of the past and should be scrapped altogether. Naomi Evans, co-founder of the Daily Racism project, told us she sees them as “problematic” and that the world has evolved faster than them.
“There has been an awakening to how racism, capitalism, colonialism, human enslavement, has affected our daily lives and people are starting to see how two people directly benefit from colonialism and how problematic imperialism, commuting, smiling and laughing. , how that really doesn’t add anything to these countries,” she said.
“There is absolutely no need for them. What do they represent? What is the message you are saying when you send people who have invaded the colony, stolen from other countries and you are sending representatives there? To I don’t understand what their purpose is unless go apologize and start talking about how you repair the damage.”
Meanwhile, Britain’s anti-monarchy advocacy group Republic saw the Caribbean tour as a “turning point” and described the visit as “poorly advised and poorly executed.”
“There has been a marked shift in attitudes towards royals in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth over the past decade,” Graham Smith, the group’s CEO, said in a statement. Father. “The BLM (Black Lives Matter) and the anti-slavery movements in particular helped shift the trend away from monarchy and towards more independent and egalitarian ideas.”
The Cambridges will close the week with a final stop in the Bahamas, where they hope to refocus the tour for the organizations and individuals they support and want to promote.
There will be flaws in the palace as always after these outings and they will learn from this experience and adapt, because that is how the monarchy lasts so long. The key question is whether the current form of royal tours is still the most effective way to promote Britain and strengthen ties with its former colonies.
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
The Queen delights in handcrafted artifacts.
Queen Elizabeth II beamed at her most recent engagement. She was seen smiling brightly as she watched a display of hand-decorated teapots and antique enamel jewelry boxes brought to Windsor Castle on Wednesday. Hand in hand, the king inspects luxury items from British craft company Halcyon Days in the castle’s White Drawing Room to celebrate the company’s 70th anniversary. The presentation includes works featuring some of its early designs from the 1950s, as well as current collections including fine British bone china. Halcyon Days is one of only 14 companies in the world to hold all three highly regarded royal warrants. The king also watched a demonstration of traditional enamel decoration and gilding by hand by master artisans.
British Vogue put the Queen on its cover.
Buckingham Palace has shared some details about a special thanksgiving ceremony commemorating the life of the Duke of Edinburgh, which is scheduled to take place at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday.
The memorial event will honor “Prince Philip’s dedication to his family, Country and Commonwealth, and recognize the importance of his legacy in creating opportunities for young people, promote environmental conservation and management, as well as support the Armed Forces,” the palace said in a statement.
The statement also revealed that special attention will be paid to honoring the duke’s lifelong contributions to public service, his dedicated work with 700 organizations and the legacy of the Duke Awards program. of Edinburgh.
Royal family members will of course attend, but the palace said we can also expect members of foreign royal families, as well as family, friends and family staff. Philip’s larger presence will be present at the ceremony. There will also be performances by more than 500 representatives from the duke’s former charities and patronages.
Others in the congregation will include representatives from the UK government, armed forces and UK administrative agencies, in addition to high commissions and territorial representatives abroad.
Music will be provided by the choirs of Westminster Abbey and Chapel Royal for the duration of the ceremony, with the Royal Marines Band playing before and after the event.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
William and Kate aren’t the only royals taking a trip this week to mark 70 years on the Queen’s throne. Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, went to Northern Ireland for a two-day visit. Huge crowds turned up in Cookstown for a glimpse of the royals. While there, they went on a tandem bike ride while meeting volunteers at Superstars cafe, a center that provides job opportunities and helps train young people with learning difficulties. They then crossed the border to the Republic of Ireland to visit Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, meeting with activist groups that promote food sustainability and tackle climate change through farming. .
While speaking in Jamaica, the duke also paid homage to the Windrush generation, who came to the UK from the Caribbean to help rebuild the nation after World War II. The British government’s treatment of these people and their descendants caused a scandal in 2018, when it emerged that they had been subjected to harsh immigration crackdowns.