Prince Edward and Sophie reunited on Caribbean tour amid protests over ‘end of colonialism’ – World News
Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex faced protesters demanding compensation and an “end to colonialism” as they arrived at Government House in St Vincent and the Grenadines
Prince Edward and Sophie were met with banners protesting British colonialism on the second leg of their Caribbean tour.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex initially received a friendly welcome when they visited St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
However, a group of about 15 protesters displayed placards as they walked to the government building on the island on Saturday.
Banners on display included “End Colonialism” and “#CompensationNow”.
The protests come shortly after warnings from Antigua and Barbuda’s Reparations Assistance Commission, which urged Edward and Sophie to avoid “false hypocrisy” about slavery.
In an open letter to the couple, the organization said: “We hear the false hypocrisy of those before you that these crimes are a ‘blot on your history.’
“For us, they are the source of genocide and ongoing deep international hurt, injustice and racism.
“We hope you will respect us by not repeating the mantra. We are not simpletons.”
Other placards used at Saturday’s protests were ‘Down with neo-colonialism’ and ‘Britain your debts are outstanding’.
The demonstration comes shortly after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were criticized for some elements of their recent Caribbean tour said to date back to colonial times.
Before the protest, Edward and Sophie received their second red carpet and honor guard of the tour after landing in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Saturday as Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and Cadets waved the national flag.
Steel drums playing One Love by Bob Marley provided the backdrop for the couple’s official welcome to the island.
The reception for the couple was initially friendly, with a bouquet of flowers presented to them by elementary school student Ashley Church.
Before standing on a platform to observe a guard of honor, Edward was greeted by Governor General Dame Susan Dougan, followed by Acting Prime Minister Montgomery Daniel.
The couple held separate engagements for part of their one-day trip to the island.
Sophie, who wore a floral dress on Saturday, attended a community college where she was greeted by La Gracia Dance Company.
The dancers, all of different ages, performed a short performance for the Countess to a song with lyrics like “Welcome to St. Vincent”.
She posed for photos with the children before heading to a series of booths set up next to the college theater.
The Countess then met representatives of two organizations – people with disabilities and the Society of and for the Blind.
Sophie, a global ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, included it in her schedule to continue her work to advocate for the need for support and equality for blind and visually impaired people.
She also met with representatives from women’s groups and business leaders to hear about their experiences with the eruption of La Soufriere volcano last year.
At the same time, Edward visited the island’s national stadium, where he met athletes training for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
He watched two sprint races in honor of the platinum anniversary.
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The Earl also watched the end of a T10 women’s cricket match and met some of the country’s netball and tennis teams.
Later on Saturday, after the couple have lunch with the islands’ governor-general and acting prime minister, they will visit the botanical gardens.
The couple are set to plant a tree to mark the Queen’s 70th anniversary as monarch before learning of the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prior to their departure, Edward and Sophie will travel to the Prime Minister’s residence for a meeting with the Acting Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet.
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The dowry reception came just a month after Prince William and Kate Middleton’s controversial Caribbean tour.
The tour was branded “tone deaf” and “not enough” by lawyers and politicians.
At a state dinner on Wednesday March 23, the Duke of Cambridge expressed his sadness at Britain’s history of slavery but made no apology or mentioned reparations.
“I want to express my deep sadness. Slavery was abominable. And it should never have happened,” he told guests at the home of Jamaica’s Gov. General Patrick Allen.
He added: “While the pain runs deep, Jamaica continues to forge its future with determination, courage and steadfastness.
“I agree with my father, the Prince of Wales, who said in Barbados last year that the appalling atrocity of slavery will stain our history forever.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/prince-edward-sophie-met-end-26782366 Prince Edward and Sophie reunited on Caribbean tour amid protests over 'end of colonialism' - World News