The start of the British Royals’ Caribbean tour was marred by Belize protests

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Scotland
FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a Beating of the Retreat at Holyroodhouse Palace on May 27, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom. Jane Barlow/PA Wire/Pool via REUTERS

March 19, 2022

By Jose Sanchez

BELIZE CITY (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate will not visit a cocoa farm in an indigenous region of Belize as planned on their Caribbean trip, the Belize government said on Friday after villagers protested their arrival.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travel to Belize on Saturday for a week-long Caribbean tour at a time when the British Empire’s links with its former colonies are coming under increasing scrutiny.

The royal couple were due to visit the Akte ‘il Ha cocoa farm in the Mayan village of Indian Creek in the Toledo district on Sunday morning, according to a tentative schedule. Instead, an emergency plan will be activated and a new location announced, the government press service said on Friday.

People in the village said they were upset that they were not consulted about the royal couple’s helicopter’s planned landing, sparking a protest by a few dozen on Friday morning.

Indian Creek is in dispute with Flora and Fauna International (FFI), a conservation organization that lists Prince William as a patron. According to local residents who spoke to Reuters, FFI owns land near the village’s common land, which has sparked tensions over property rights.

FFI could not be immediately reached for comment.

Kensington Palace could not be reached immediately either.

The Duke and Duchess’ Caribbean trip comes just after Queen Elizabeth’s 70th jubilee and almost four months after Barbados voted to become a republic, cutting ties with the monarchy but still part of the British-led Commonwealth of Nations stayed.

The royal couple will spend three days in Belize before heading on to Jamaica and the Bahamas.

(Reporting by Jose Sanchez; Writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Edmund Klamann) The start of the British Royals’ Caribbean tour was marred by Belize protests

Bobby Allyn

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