On Saturday morning, as Prince Edward and his wife Sophie began their tour of duty in the former British colony, multiple protests greeted the royal couple.
As scrutiny of the British Empire’s colonial legacy grows, activists protested at the three major stops of the Royal Subjects.
A slavery protester shouted, “Apology now, reparations now” at the entrance to the Diamond Athletic Track where Edward was whistled past to meet with athletes preparing for the Commonwealth Games.
Lawyer Jomo Thomas, a longtime advocate for reparations, was among the protesters.
Thomas said, “We are here to demand reparations and an apology for the genocide committed against our foreparents.
Thomas in his weekly column ‘Plain Talk’ published on Friday entitled “Mr Colonialism comes to town”, said;
“Edward and his British entourage should not be feted in our land. Paramount Chief Chatoyer turns in his grave, Commander Duvalier cringes, and those ancestors corralled and exiled look on in horror as our neo-colonial leaders lay down the red carpet for the invaders”.
Afterwards, protesters moved to the outskirts of Arnos Vale sports Complex where Prince Edward was meeting with female cricketers and watching an exhibition game of 10/10 cricket.
To ensure that their message was heard loud and clear, protesters followed the Royals to Government House where they demanded reparations from the British Empire.
According to Ideaisha Jackson, a local activist, the fight for reparatory justice is a constant one.
“The fight will continue until the Queen and her subjects apologize for the wrongdoing they have done. And when they do apologize, they must pay us from the money they have accumulated. It is not unjust to ask for this payment”.
The demonstration comes shortly after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were criticized for some elements of their recent Caribbean tour, deemed to hark back to colonial days.
During the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Jamaica, dozens of people gathered outside the British High Commission in Kingston, singing traditional Rastafarian songs and holding banners with the phrase “seh yuh sorry” – a local patois phrase that urged Britain to apologize.
The Duke and Duchess also faced protest in Belize during their tour of the Central American nation.
On their visit to St Vincent, Prince Edward and Sophie met local entrepreneurs, craftspeople, and youth. In addition, they met with athletes preparing for the Commonwealth Games and women in leadership positions regarding the community’s response to the eruption of La Soufriere Volcano.
Before leaving the island, the Royals met with acting Prime Minister Montgomery Daniel and other government officials at the residence of the Prime Minister.
St Vincent and the Grenadines PM Ralph Gonsalves left the country last Sunday for “medical reasons” prompting Edward and Sophie to miss a meeting with him.
Edward and Sophie’s trip to Grenada was cancelled in the eleventh hour without explanation.