June 30, 2022

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Prince William speaks on his controversial Caribbean tour: 'We learned a lot'

Prince William speaks on his controversial Caribbean tour: ‘We learned a lot’

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Prince William thinks of His Controversial Royal Caribbean Tour from earlier this year.

On Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the unveiling of Windrush National Monument in Waterloo Station, where the prince reached out to the UK’s Caribbean community in a groundbreaking speech.

The Windrush Day is named after the Empire Windrush, a ship that brought hundreds of Caribbean immigrants to the UK in June 1948 to help fill a labor shortage after World War II, People magazine reported. According to the outlet, thousands of people, called the Windrush generation, settled in the UK to help cities and industries rebuild after the war until the early 1970s. In 2018, Windrush Day was officially observed as a day of celebration by the government.

The outlet noted that the opening ceremony came amid the Windrush scandal, which has seen hundreds of Caribbean immigrants living and working in the UK wrongfully targeted by immigration authorities. The memorial was created to symbolize the courage and resilience of the British Caribbean people.

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Prince William speaks during the unveiling of the Windrush National Monument at Waterloo Station, London on June 22, 2022.
(John Sibley/Paul/AFP via Getty Images)

The couple’s appearance came months after they toured the Caribbean in March. Not only did they face a backlash for their visit, but they also faced growing tensions in the countries where they are William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, remained head of state.

During his speech at the unveiling party, William described how diversity is “very important to our country.”

“My family has been proud to celebrate this for decades – whether it’s with the support of my parents on Windrush Day, or more recently during my grandmother’s Platinum Jubilee, where people from all communities and backgrounds have come together to acknowledge all that has changed over the past 70 years and look to the future.”

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“This is something that resonated with Catherine and I after our visit to the Caribbean earlier this year,” he continued. “Our trip was an opportunity to reflect, and we learned a lot. Not only about the different issues that matter to the people of the region, but also how the past greatly influences the present.”

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Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Baroness Floella Benjamin, right, Windrush passengers Alford Gardner, center, John Richards, fourth from left, and children at the Windrush National Monument created by Jamaican artist Basil Watson, left, at Waterloo Station in London On June 22, 2022.

Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Baroness Floella Benjamin, right, Windrush passengers Alford Gardner, center, John Richards, fourth from left, and children at the Windrush National Monument created by Jamaican artist Basil Watson, left, at Waterloo Station in London On June 22, 2022.
(John Sibley/Paul/AFP via Getty Images)

William previously spoke about the future governance of the Caribbean nations after his tour.

“I know this tour brought more nuanced focus questions about the past and the future,” the prince said at the time. “In Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas, that future is up to the people to decide. Outdoor tours are an opportunity to reflect. You learn a lot. What prime ministers have in mind. The hopes and aspirations of school children. The daily challenges that families and communities face… We thoroughly enjoyed spending time with communities in the three countries, and to understand more about the issues that matter most to them.”

William continued, “Catherine and I are committed to serving.” “For us, this is not telling people what to do. It is about serving and supporting them in whatever way they think best, by using the platform we are fortunate to have. That is why tours like this underscore our desire to serve the people of the Commonwealth and listen to communities across all around the world. Who the Commonwealth chooses to lead his family into the future is not what I have in mind. What matters to us is the ability of the Commonwealth family to create a better future for the people who shape it, and our commitment to serve and support as best we can.”

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The royal tour has been criticized as being “deaf” for perpetuating images of British colonial rule. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge that his country intended to become a republic, removing the British monarch as head of state.

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Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speak with participants during a visit to the Elevate Initiative at Brixton House on June 22, 2022 in London.

Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speak with participants during a visit to the Elevate Initiative at Brixton House on June 22, 2022 in London.
(Eddie Mulholland – WPA Pool / Getty Images)

Members of the royal family visited the three countries As representatives of the Queen, 96, who recently celebrated 70 years on the throne. During those seven decades, she was the head of state in the United Kingdom and 14 “kingdoms” that were once colonies of the British Empire are now independent nations.

The protesters greeted the royal couple and demanded an apology for the role Britain played in enslaving millions of Africans and reparations for the damages caused by slavery. During a speech in Jamaica, William expressed his “deep sadness” about slavery but stopped short of offering an apology.

William recognized the changing nature of the links between Britain and its former colonies during a speech Friday night in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.

“We proudly support and respect your decisions about your future,” William said. “Relationships develop and friendships remain.”

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Regardless of what the former colonies decide about their continuing relationship with the Crown, William said he wanted to continue serving them through the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 54 nations with historical ties to Britain. The Queen has been at the head of the Commonwealth throughout her reign and Prince Charles, William’s father, is her designated successor.

The couple’s trip to Belize also hit a snag when a planned visit to a cocoa farm in Belize was canceled due to local opposition.

According to local reports, a protest has been organized against the royal visit to the Akti Il Ha cocoa farm in the village of Indian Creek in the foothills of the Mayan Mountains. Channel 7 News Belize reports that there is a dispute between the villagers and Flora and Fauna International, a conservation charity that William supports as patron.

Official spokesperson from Kensington Palace in London She told Fox News Digital that “due to sensitive issues related to the community in Indian Creek, the visit has been moved to a different location.”

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Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William visit Trench Town, the birthplace of reggae, during their tour of the Caribbean on March 22, 2022 in Kingston, Jamaica.

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William visit Trench Town, the birthplace of reggae, during their tour of the Caribbean on March 22, 2022 in Kingston, Jamaica.
(Baraka/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

In November, Charles, 73, denounced the “atrocity of slavery” and Britain’s legacy of the slave trade as Barbados removed his mother, the Queen, as head of state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.