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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Elly Blake

Earl and Countess of Wessex’s Caribbean tour blasted by St Lucia radio host

The Earl and Countess of Wessex have faced another setback in Saint Lucia as their beleaguered Caribbean tour was met with more criticism on Sunday.

Their Jubilee tour has already been met with protests and things only got worse when one of St Lucia’s biggest radio hosts slammed the visit.

Sam Flood, who hosts Tells It Like It Is on Saint Lucian Radio told his listeners: “Who paid for the drinks and food that was being consumed at the Governor’s house? Did the Royal family sponsor it or did our government?”

Mr Flood went on to question the purpose of the visit and ask how the peope of St Lucia were “benefitting from this trip”.

He continued: “What is the purpose of this trip to Saint Lucia? How are Saint Lucia and its people benefitting from this trip?

“What have we done to deserve this trip? I would like to know who is benefitting from this Royal visit.

“Who really are these royals and what is their significance? It is not like they are quite high up in the Royal family.

“Who are they and what will they bring to the island that will benefit us as a people.”

The Earl and Countess of Wessex visit Morne Fortune, a Saint Lucia National Trust (Getty Images)

While in Saint Lucia on Sunday, the couple attended a church service, where Edward gave a reading from the Apostles chapter of the Bible during a lengthy service at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church.

Sophie, wearing a spotted dress, sat with her husband at the front of the church and they joined in with all hymns and prayers.

Both were warmly welcomed by all who attended.

The two engagements carried out by the couple avoided crowds, with the small service beginning their day, followed by a visit to a monument dedicated to Nobel Laureate Sir William Arthur Lewis.

The tour, which is to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, has proved controversial.

The third day of their Caribbean tour followed a protest from a group of around 15 demonstrators who displayed placards during their visit to St Vincent and the Grenadines on Saturday.

Sophie and Edward visit the Botanical Gardens in Kingstown, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines (Getty Images)

Banners on show included “end to colonialism”, “#CompensationNow”, “down with neo-colonialism” and “Britain your debt is outstanding”.

Edward and Sophie are due to travel to Antigua and Barbuda on Monday, where an organisation has already warned the pair to avoid “phoney sanctimony” over slavery.

Edward and Sophie have a full day of engagements planned for Monday’s visit, including a trip to the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium where they will meet former West Indies cricketers.

Prior to their Caribbean tour, the country’s Reparations Support Commission penned an open letter to the couple saying: “For us, they are the source of genocide and of continuing deep international injury, injustice and racism.

“We hope you will respect us by not repeating the mantra. We are not simpletons.”

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