Prince William & Kate Middleton Face Protestors During Jamaica Tour Demanding Reparations For Slavery
The Royals faced some issues during their trip to Belize, when protestors caused them to cancel a chocolate farm trip. The day before they arrived in Jamaica, the Duke and Duchess of Sussexx were hit with an open letter signed by one hundred prominent Jamaicans decrying the visit and demanding reparations for 300 years of colonial rule where Britain forced African slaves and indigenous Jamaicans to work in horrific conditions.
In the letter, written and compiled by activist group The Advocates Network, and addressed specifically to William and Kate, they took umbrage at the fact that their visit was part of the 70th Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. “During her 70 years on the throne, your grandmother has done nothing to redress or atone for the suffering of our ancestors that took place during her reign and/or during the entire period of British trafficking of Africans, enslavement, indentureship, and colonialization,” the letter began.
They also pointed out that the two visiting Royals, “are direct beneficiaries of the wealth accumulated by the Royal family over centuries, including that stemming from the trafficking and enslavement of Africans,” and demanded that they consider an apology followed by reparations.
They also added a shocking detail for the record, which is that “enslavers have been compensated under the Slave Compensation Act (1837), with some payments converted into 3.5% government annuities which lasted until 2015, yet to date there has been no compensation paid to the descendants of enslaved Africans.” According to a University College London report, £20 million in total was paid out to thousands of slave-owners as “compensation” for giving slaves up following their emancipation. The letter’s claim that payments were still going to descendants of slave-owners as late as 2015 are also true.
On March 23, two days after the letter was released, Prince William said in a public address with Jamaica’s Prime Minister, “Slavery was abhorrent and it never should have happened. I strongly agree with my father, the Prince of Wales, who said in Barbados last year that the appalling atrocity of slavery forever stains our history.”
The Advocates Group quickly hit back at this statement as unsatisfactory, saying, “There was no responsibility taken! No call out of centuries of British bloody conquest and plunder.”