Royal aides will have ‘shelved open-top car ride’ after William and Kate’s Caribbean trip

Just weeks after Prince William and Kate Middleton’s trip to the Caribbean, Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward are also set to visit several islands in the region – and it’s reported aides have taken lessons from the ‘missteps’ of the Cambridge’s tour

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Royals: Kate and Wills depart parade in historic Land Rover

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s recent Caribbean tour was on the receiving end of some backlash after a series of PR blunders.

There had been unfavorable coverage of some elements of the trip such as William and Kate riding in an open-top Land Rover during a military parade, which some said echoed Britain’s colonialist past.

Later this month, royal couple Prince Edward and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, are set to embark on their own tour of the Caribbean.

They will be stopping off in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

And according to the Telegraph, palace officials are carefully studying the Wessex’s itinerary to avoid any potential PR pitfalls.

William and Kate ride in an open-top Land Rover at a military parade in Jamaica last month


Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror)

The publication adds that much of the criticism of the Cambridge’s tour came from engagements where they tried to emulate the Queen and Prince Philip during trips to the Caribbean many years ago.

And it now reports that any potential plans for Sophie and Edward to greet crowds in an open-top car in Grenada – like the Queen and Prince Philip did in 1966 – “will have been quietly shelved”.

Last week, it was reported that Prince William had called an emergency summit to respond to the backlash of his royal tour of the Caribbean.

The Queen and Prince Philip in Jamaica in 1953



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He brought together his most senior aides to thrash out a way of acknowledging concerns voiced by the people of the Caribbean nations visited last month, amid accusations of being “tone deaf” and actively paying homage to Britain’s colonial past.

Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex are visiting the Caribbean later this month



The future king told his staff the time had come for him to use his own voice and confront the issues head-on, such as protests on slavery reparations and anti-monarchist sentiment.

Senior aides told how William had been rocked by widespread negative coverage of his and wife Kate’s eight-day tour of Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas and decided to go out on his own to deliver an unprecedented statement about the future of the Commonwealth.

A senior palace source said of William: “He was keen to be heard and certainly thought there was a need to get ahead of the raft of negative headlines.

“He said he needed to make it clear that any of the Caribbean nations he had visited were totally free and completely supported in any decision they may make in the future to choose their own destiny.

“But he wanted to go further than that which is why the Duke made special mention of the Commonwealth in his speech.

“He’s been thinking about these issues for a long time and realizes the role he occupies is increasingly important to be able to adapt in an ever-changing world.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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