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British royals arrive in the Bahamas amid colonial reckoning

Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit the Bahamas
Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a welcoming ceremony on day six of their tour of the Caribbean at Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, Bahamas March 24, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville

March 24, 2022

By Jasper Ward and Brian Ellsworth

NASSAU (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate arrived in the Bahamas on Thursday for the third leg of a Caribbean tour marked by protests against the legacy of the British Empire and signs of the waning influence of the monarchical system.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge faced a protest from Belizean villagers and a rally in Jamaica for slavery reparations, as well as unusually direct comments from the Jamaican Prime Minister that the country wanted to be “independent”.

Her tour comes after Barbados ousted the Queen as head of state last year, a move that could follow other Commonwealth countries and one that Jamaica has begun to study – potentially leading to a decline in British cultural influence in its former colonies .

William and Kate arrived at Lynden Pindling International Airport and were greeted by Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper and Attorney General Ryan Pinder.

During the visit, they are expected to attend a gathering at an elementary school, participate in a sailing regatta, and attend a cultural event featuring typical Bahamian food and music.

A protest by Rastafarian groups is planned for Friday to demand reparations from Britain and an apology for slavery.

The Bahamas National Reparations Committee, an independent body set up by the government to investigate the issue, issued a letter making similar demands.

“They and their royal family and government must recognize that their diverse economy was built on the backs of our ancestors,” said a letter released on Tuesday. “You have to pay.”

At a separate demonstration, William and Kate are asked to help raise awareness of the issues facing women in the Bahamas, including a statute barring a person from being prosecuted for rape of their spouse, sometimes referred to as “spousal rape.” ” referred to as.

Queen Elizabeth continues to be the official head of state of some former British colonies, including Canada, Australia, Belize, the Bahamas and Jamaica, known as the Queen’s “realms”, although she serves as a symbolic figurehead rather than a political decision. Manufacturer.

A separate organization known as the Commonwealth of Nations is a group of 54 countries, almost all of which are former colonies of the United Kingdom, which focuses primarily on promoting democracy and development.

(Reporting by Jasper Ward in Nassau; Writing by Brian Ellsworthin Miami; Editing by Mark Porter)

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Bobby Allyn

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