Royal biographer Robert Jobson is accompanying Prince William and Kate Middleton as a journalist on the eight-day trip and is traveling with them on their flight
Image: Getty Images)
Prince William and Kate Middleton “haven’t put a foot wrong” despite the controversy that has marred their Caribbean tour, a royal expert has said.
Royal biographer Robert Jobson is accompanying the royal party as a journalist on the eight-day trip and is traveling with them on their flight.
The royal couple have traveled amid a wave of anti-monarchist sentiment gripping host nations, Jamaica, Belize, and the Bahamas – two of which are set to ditch the Queen and become republics.
Campaigners are calling for a royal apology over slavery and reparations from countries involved.
A series of PR blunders may have further hurt the royal image abroad – after the pair were pictured shaking hands with children through a metal fence and William was snapped wearing full military garb as they rode around in an open top Land Rover.
But Mr Jobson said the couple “haven’t put a foot wrong” and had “tiptoed through this diplomatic minefield with grace”.
The biographer said the fence incident in Trench Town, Jamaica was “grossly misrepresented”.
He went on: “There was a fence around a football pitch and hundreds of youngsters wanting to meet the players, including Raheem Sterling, as well as the royals.
“They all went over to say hello and shake hands. If they hadn’t, they could have been accused of snubbing them.”
Campaigners have also slammed William for failing to use his speeches to apologize for slavery.
Mr Jobson says that the prince has voiced his disgust over the slave trade in the past, but that the UK Government has not approved a “full-blown apology” to affected countries.
The royal writer – whose new book “William at 40: The Making of a modern monarch” is out in May – heaped further praise on the prince for making a last-minute change to his speech that addressed some of the controversies.
William told Caribbean nations set to ditch the Queen to become republics how he and the rest of the Royal Family “respect your decisions about your future”.
In a last minute addition to a speech on the penultimate day of his tour with wife Kate of Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas, the Duke of Cambridge aimed directly at those countries who may hold referendums to forge a new future.
Speaking at the Governor General’s Reception at the Baha Mar Resort in The Bahamas, future king William said: “Next year, I know you are all looking forward to celebrating fifty years of independence – your Golden Anniversary.
“And with Jamaica celebrating 60 years of independence this year, and Belize celebrating 40 years of independence last year, I want to say this: We support with pride and respect your decisions about your future.
“Relationships evolve. Friendship endures.”
The comments were a marked shift in tone from the rest of the eight day tour, where the Duke and Duchess battled against a wave of anti-monarchist protest and sentiment.
It is understood the words directly addressing the futures of those nations who may yet choose to cut ties with the monarchy were added late in the day after the success of the tour was questioned in the media.
The visit, which is the Cambridges’ first major tour since the start of the pandemic, did not appear to strike the right chord often.
The couple also looked uncomfortable at times away from what they do best, which is meeting and chatting with people.
It started on a bad note with a protest by an indigenous community in Belize.
Locals railed against the couple for showing an apparent lack of respect and alleged demands to land a helicopter on a school field.
Some carried placards which read: “Prince William Leave Our Land.”
A hastily pushed-out local government notice declared a misunderstanding, which had nothing to do with the future king and his wife – but it was not enough.