Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William embarked on a week-long tour to the Caribbeans to help the Royal Family’s efforts to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee across the Commonwealth. The Cambridges landed in Belize on Sunday after reports that the couple had to cancel some of their plans because of protesters staging a demonstration against the royals. The celebratory tour comes at a time when the United Kingdom faces increasing scrutiny from former colonies now feared to be considering independence from the Crown.
Speaking to True Royalty’s The Royal Beat, Hello! Royal Editor Emily Nash said: “The official line is the Cambridges are going on tour to thank people for their support for the Queen over her 70-year reign.
“And they’ve always said any decision about becoming republics is for the people of whichever country it is.
“But it is a charm offensive, and it’s a way of re-establishing ties, particularly after this two-year hiatus in royal travel.”
In November, the Queen waved goodbye to Barbados after the former colony voted to remove Her Majesty as Head of State in favour of becoming a republic.
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Kate and William will stay in Belize for three days before moving on to Jamaica and the Bahamas.
The royal couple was scheduled to visit the Akte ‘il Ha cacao farm in the Maya village of Indian Creek upon their arrival.
But locals staged a protest on Friday after lamenting they had not been consulted about Kate and William’s plane landing nearby.
Indian Creek is in dispute with Flora and Fauna International (FFI), a conservation group of which the Duke of Cambridge is a patron.
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“And it appears to villagers preparations are being made for the Prince’s helicopter to and on the village football field.
“And tonight they are saying they weren’t consulted and they don’t want the Prince in their village!”
Independence activists have been urging Caribbean nations to consider their links to the Queen and the British monarchy as Her Majesty celebrates her 70th year on the throne.
Windrush campaigner and historian Patrick Vernon said: “Britain still has key legal and economic ties, which makes it difficult for a country like Jamaica to be truly independent.
“This year is an opportunity for people to reflect: do we want to be a republic, and what does that mean? If Jamaica decided it did, there would be a domino effect on the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean.”