William and Kate urged to acknowledge British economy was ‘built on the backs’ of past Bahamians

Demonstrations demanding slavery reparations from the monarch have also taken place in Jamaica and Belize

Published Last updated

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been urged to acknowledge the British economy was “built on the backs” of past Bahamians and pay reparations.

The Bahamas national reparations committee made the demands in an open letter of published ahead of the royal couple’s three-day tour of the country starting on Thursday.

Alongside the acknowledgement, the letter requests a full and formal apology from the British monarchy and that they pay reparations for its role in slavery.

They also stated that Bahamians "have been left holding the bag for much of the cost of this extravagant trip."

Kate and William are touring the Caribbean to celebrate the Queen's jubilee, but the couple have so far been greeted by anti-colonial protests in both Belize and Jamaica.

Upon their arrival in Jamaica, demonstrators gathered outside the British High Commission in the capital Kingston and held placards reading: “Princesses and Princes belong in fairytales… not in Jamaica” and “Go Back home".

Jamaican protesters to demand slavery reparations during Royal Family visit
Jamaican protesters to demand slavery reparations during Royal Family visit
Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit Belize
Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit Belize

The statement from the Bahamas committee read: “We, the members of the Bahamas National Reparations Committee (BNRC), recognise that the people of the Bahamas have been left holding the bag for much of the cost of this extravagant trip.

“Why are we footing the bill for the benefit of a regime whose rise to ‘greatness‘ was fuelled by the extinction, enslavement, colonisation, and degradation of the people of this land? Why are we being made to pay again?

“The visit to commemorates 70 years since Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne of imperialism – more years than the Bahamas has been a sovereign nation.

“The BNRC asserts that we as Bahamians must have a clear understanding of what this trip truly means. We are not beholden to the British monarchy in any way and we do not owe them a debt of gratitude for anything – not for our culture, religion, or system of governance.

“Instead the monarchy has looted and pillaged our land and our people for centuries, leaving us struggling with under development, left to pick up the pieces.