Jamaican PM tells Kate and William of plans to 'fulfil destiny' as independent country
Andrew Holness told the Duke and Duchess during a meeting on Wednesday
William and Kate received an official welcome from the Caribbean nation’s premier and he described how Jamaica intended to fufil its destiny “as an independent, developed, prosperous country”.
The Cambridges arrived in Jamaica on Tuesday to a much-publicised demonstration urging the monarchy to pay reparations for slavery, and there have been calls from politicians for the country to drop the Queen as head of state and become a republic.
As he welcomed the couple before sitting down for talks, Mr Holness said: “There are issues here which are, as you would know, unresolved but your presence gives an opportunity for those issues to be placed in context, put front and centre and to be addressed in as best (a way) as we can.
“But Jamaica is, as you would see, a country that is very proud of our history, very proud of what we have achieved.
“And we’re moving on and we intend to attain in short order our development goals and fulfil our true ambitions and destiny as an independent, developed, prosperous country.”
The Duke and Duchess were met with protests on their arrival to the Caribbean island on Tuesday as they were accused of benefitting from the “blood, tears and sweat” of slaves.
Protesters gathered outside the British High Commission in Jamaican capital Kingston, with one girl holding a sign which read: “Kings, Queens and Princesses and Princes belong in fairytales not in Jamaica!”
Opal Adisa, a Jamaican human rights advocate who helped organise the demonstration, called for an apology.
She said: “Kate and William are beneficiaries, so they are, in fact, complicit because they are positioned to benefit specifically from our ancestors, and we’re not benefitting from our ancestors.
“The luxury and the lifestyle that they have had and that they continue to have, traipsing all over the world for free with no expense, that is a result of my great, great grandmother and grandfather, their blood and tears and sweat.”