Prince William reflects on his controversial Caribbean tour: ‘We’ve learned so much’

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Prince William is thinking about it his controversial tour of the royal Caribbean from earlier this year.

On Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the unveiling of the National Wind Monument at Waterloo Station, where the prince addressed the Caribbean community in the UK in a revolutionary speech.

Windrush Day is named after the Empire Windrush, a ship that brought hundreds of Caribbean immigrants to Britain in June 1948 to fill the labor shortage after World War II, People magazine reported. According to media reports, thousands of people who coined “The Windrush Generation” settled in the United Kingdom to help cities and industry rebuild after the war until the early 1970s. In 2018, the government officially marked Wind Day as a day of celebration.

The publication stated that the inauguration celebration came amid the Windrush scandal, in which hundreds of Caribbean immigrants living and working in the United Kingdom were mistakenly targeted by immigration authorities. The monument 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 in London on June 22, 2022.

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

The couple showed up a few months after embarking on a Caribbean tour in March. Not only did they face negative reactions due to their visit, but they also encountered growing tensions in countries where William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, remains head of state.

During his opening speech, William described how diversity is “so important to our country”.

“My family has been proud to celebrate this for decades – whether it was through my father’s support on Wind Day, or recently during my grandmother’s Platinum Jubilee, as people from all communities and backgrounds gathered to recognize everything that has changed over the past 70 years. years and a look into the future, ”the 40-year-old said

“This is something that resonated with Catherine and me after our visit to the Caribbean earlier this year,” he continued. “Our trip has been an opportunity to think and we have learned so much. Not only about the various issues that are most important to the people of the region, but also about how the past has great weight on the present.”

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Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Baroness Floela Benjamin, right, and passengers from Windrush, Alford Gardner, in the middle, and John Richards, fourth from left, and children at the National Wind Monument created by Jamaican artist Basil Watson, left, at Waterloo station in London 22.06.2022.

Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Baroness Floela Benjamin, right, and passengers from Windrush, Alford Gardner, in the middle, and John Richards, fourth from left, and children at the National Wind Monument created by Jamaican artist Basil Watson, left, at Waterloo station in London 22.06.2022.
(John Sibley / Pool / AFP via Getty Images)

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

“I know that this tour raised questions about the past and the future even more sharply,” the prince said at the time. “In Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas, people decide that future. Foreign tours are an opportunity to think. You learn so much. What are the prime ministers in mind. Hopes and ambitions of school children. the daily challenges facing families and communities … We live together with communities in all three countries, understanding more about the issues that matter most to them. “

“Catherine and I are committed to service,” William continued. “For us, it’s not telling people what to do. It’s about serving and supporting in any way they think is best, using a platform we’re lucky in. That’s why tours like this confirm our desire to serve the people of the Commonwealth and listen to communities around The Commonwealth chooses to lead its family in the future is not what I have in mind. What matters to us is the potential that the Commonwealth family has to create a better future for the people who shape it and our commitment to serve and support the best we can. “

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

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

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

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

The royal couple were greeted by protesters demanding an apology for the role Britain played in enslaving millions of Africans and reparations for the damage caused by slavery. During a speech in Jamaica, William expressed his “deep sorrow” for slavery, but stopped apologizing.

William recognized the changing nature of ties 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 are evolving. The friendship lasts.”

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People protest the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Kingston, Jamaica, on March 22, 2022.

People protest the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Kingston, Jamaica, on March 22, 2022.
(Ricardo Makyn / AFP via Getty Images)

Whatever the former colonies decided on their continued relationship with the crown, William said he wanted to continue to serve them through the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 54 countries with historical ties to Britain. The Queen was at the head of the Commonwealth during her reign, and Prince Charles, William’s father, is her appointed successor.

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

According to local reports, a protest was organized against a royal visit to the Akte ‘il Ha cocoa farm in the village of Indian Creek at the foot of the Maya Mountains. Channel 7 from Belize reported that there is a dispute between the villagers and Flora and Fauna International, a nature conservation charity that William supports as a patron.

Spokesman for Kensington Palace he told Fox News Digital that “due to sensitive issues involving the Indian Creek community, the visit was moved to another location.”

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

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

In November, Charles, 73, condemned the “atrocity of slavery” and the British legacy of the slave trade after Barbados removed his mother, the queen, from the post of head of state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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