William and Kate warned that they are ‘not welcome’ in Jamaica as the trip attracts protests and demands compensation



Campaigns in Jamaica demand an apology for colonialism and compensation from the royal family, while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continue a tense tour of the Caribbean.

William and Kate has already been forced to scrap an engagement in Belize over local protests, and the sour mood towards the British monarchy will probably also be felt on Tuesday when they land in Jamaica.

Protesters planned to make it clear that the couple “were not welcome” with a protest outside the British High Commission, where local activist Kay Osborne told the guardian: “We do not want them here. We reject the photo operations that will be staged here for UK consumption. “

As the couple prepared to head to the country, more than a hundred prominent Jamaicans signed an open letter accusing British royals of committing “the greatest human rights tragedy in human history”.

It reads: “You, who may one day lead the British monarchy, are direct recipients of the wealth that the royal family has accumulated over the centuries, including that which comes from human trafficking and the slavery of Africans.

“You therefore have the unique opportunity to redefine the relationship between the British monarchy and the people of Jamaica.

“If you choose to do so, we urge you to start with an apology and recognition of the need for reconciliation and compensation.”

The letter calls on William to apologize “for British crimes against humanity, including, but not limited to, the exploitation of the indigenous people of Jamaica, the transatlantic trade in Africans (and) slavery of Africans, the conclusion of contracts and the relocation.”

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During their two-day stay in Jamaica, Prince William and Kate are expected to celebrate Bob Marleys heritage, a trait that has also excited some Jamaicans.

“As a Rastafarian, Bob Marley embodied advocacy and is globally recognized for the principles of human rights, equality, compensation and repatriation,” the letter said.

Royal experts have indicated that the couple’s trip is an overt attempt to strengthen the monarchy’s position in the Commonwealth, after Barbados became the most recent country to remove the Queen as Head of State.

Only 15 countries continue to recognize the Queen as head of state, including the Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The accession of Prince Charles to the throne could lead to a new push to abolish the monarchy in many Commonwealth countries, where the queen remains significantly more popular than other royals.

Jamaica lawmaker Mike Henry, who has long led an attempt to obtain compensation, which he estimates at more than £ 7bn, said an apology was only the first step for what he described as “abuse of human life and labor” .

“An apology really admits there is some guilt,” he said.

Hundreds of thousands of African slaves suffered in Jamaica under more than 300 years of British rule and faced brutal conditions.

There were numerous bloody uprisings, with an 18th century woman called ‘Queen Nanny’ lead a group of formerly enslaved Africans known as Jamaican maroons whose guerrilla war overwhelmed British forces. She remains the only woman of Jamaica’s eight national heroes.

Additional reporting from agencies

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