During a stop in Antigua and Barbuda last week, Prince Edward chuckled awkwardly while sitting across from the prime minister. They were on a royal trip to honour the Queen’s silver jubilee.
What’s Going on in ST Vincent And The Grenadines
The prince was just asked by Gaston Browne if he and his wife Sophie would use their “diplomatic power” to demand that Britain pay slavery reparations to its former colonies. The political leader of the Caribbean island informed the Queen’s youngest son, “We believe that all human civilisation should realise the crimes that went place.”
Another hit was delivered in the same meeting. The prime minister assured the newlyweds that “one day” Antigua and Barbuda, a former British colony where the Queen is still the head of state, would break links with the monarchy and become a republic. The Prince of Wales moved uneasily in his chair. I wasn’t taking notes, so I can’t give you a full rebuttal,” he explained. On the other hand, I appreciate the kind reception I’ve received today.
The argument was one of many uncomfortable firsts that occurred during the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s week-long trip of the Caribbean, the second royal tour to the region in as many months that was marred by controversy.
Last Thursday, at the conclusion of the journey, two Commonwealth nations announced their intention to end their monarchical systems and transition to republics. St. Kitts and Nevis has recently announced that it will be reevaluating its relationship with the British monarchy.
Shawn Richards, St. Kitts and Nevis’s deputy prime minister, recently told reporters that the island nation should reconsider its monarchical style of government and start talking about changing its status.
Following a separate trip of the Caribbean by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in March, these pronouncements follow similar actions by other Commonwealth states, several of which signalled their own plans to cut links with the monarchy.
After shaking hands with audiences behind a wire mesh fence in Jamaica and riding in the back of a Land Rover like the Queen did 60 years ago, William and Kate were accused of harking back to colonial days during their tour. In the Bahamas, protesters called for them to admit that the British economy was “built on the backs of slaves” and make reparations, while in the United States, they were accused of profiting on the “blood, tears, and work” of slaves.
A minister from Belize said it was time to “take the next step in genuinely owning our freedom,” and Jamaica’s prime minister, Andrew Holness, informed William and Kate that his country was “moving on” and might be the next to become a republic.