Prince William and Kate Middleton headed to Trench Town on their first day in Jamaica as they continue their Caribbean tour – and met up with Jamaican sports star including England football star Raheem Sterling
Image: Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were greeted by huge crowds and cheers as they visited Trench Town on their first day in Jamaica on their Caribbean tour.
The royal couple had landed on the island earlier today amid protests and impassioned calls for them to apologize for the monarchy’s role in slavery.
But they were given a rapturous reception as they arrived in Trench Town to meet Jamaican sports stars and visit the former home of reggae legend Bob Marley, where he wrote one of his most famous hits, No Woman, No Cry.
Kate wore a vibrant striped vintage-style dress along with a bangle by Lashawndla Bailey-Miller, a Jamaican designer.
Among the sports stars the couple met were England and Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling and Aston Villa winger Leon Bailey. Turning to Kate, Wiliam said: “Two heroes of mine. These two are the fastest in the team.”
Raheem said he had traveled out to Jamaica, especially for the royals visit and William had a kickabout.
Raheem explained: I thought why not? I came out specially for this.
“Otherwise I wouldn’t have any time to do it. [I should be at training camp].
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“We are trying to build unity in the squad. But I spoke to Gareth (Southgate) and he said an opportunity like this is a great one.”
Meanwhile, William and Kate clambered into the Jamaican 2022 Winter Olympics bobsled and talked to the team. William was astonished at how fast they went. “95mph? Really?”
Earlier today, campaigners and leading politicians on the Caribbean island said William and Kate’s visit was “ill-timed and ill-conceived”.
The island nation is odds on to be the next British realm to dump the Queen as head of state, following on from Barbados which last year officially became a republic.
Around 60 protesters gathered outside the British High Commission in Jamaica today calling for slavery reparations..
Organizers called William and Kate’s visit on behalf of the Queen to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee a “deep embarrassment”.
Co-organiser Nora Blake told The Mirror: “We may have been supportive of her before but we are not supportive of the monarchy because we can make a direct link between the monarchy and the system of slavery, colonialism, total and absolute exploitation in the shackles of slavery – and we know that those responsible were compensated and not one of our ancestors has ever received any consideration.”
Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror)
Ms Blake added: “If I was to sit with Prince William I would ask him face to face to apologize to the people of Jamaica so we can begin to move forward for the future.”
Opal Adisa, a Jamaican human rights advocate who helped organize the demonstration, also called for an apology, saying: “Kate and William are beneficiaries, so they are, in fact, complicit because they are positioned to benefit specifically from our ancestors, and we ‘re not benefitting from our ancestors.
“The luxury and the lifestyle that they have had and that they continue to have, traipsing all over the world for free with no expense, that is a result of my great, great grandmother and grandfather, their blood and tears and sweat.”
A source close to the duke and duchess said the couple were “aware of protests” but added “calls for a republic are matter for people and government of Jamaica”.
William is expected for the first time to acknowledge the issue of slavery in a speech at a banquet in Kingston on Wednesday.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.