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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Laura Hampson

Royal tours to Caribbean ‘are an embarrassment to British monarchy’, activist says


Tours to the Caribbean by the royal family should be “scrapped” unless the firm addresses “truth, reconciliation, and justice”, a political activist has said.

Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu said both Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex’s, and Prince William and Kate Middleton’s recent royal tours of the regions have been “an embarrassment to the British monarchy”.

The overseas visits were met with controversy as campaigners demanded apologies from the royal family and reparations over slavery, while numerous nations set out their intentions to become republics.

Lawyer Dr Mos-Shogbamimu told the PA news agency: “If the purpose of the trip is what we’ve seen, which is basically a continuation of representing the legacy of the British Empire, then absolutely yes these tours should just end.

“Quite frankly these royal tours that we’ve seen to date are an embarrassment to the British monarchy.

“However if the royal tour was one that speaks to what many of these Afro-Caribbean nations are seeking to address, which is truth, reconciliation and justice, then you need to get on board those tours and make them work.”

During Edward and Sophie’s recent trip, which saw them visit Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda, Edward was criticised for his response after he was pressed over reparations.

When asked by Antigua and Barbuda prime minister Gaston Browne if the royals could use their “diplomatic influence” to achieve "reparatory justice", Edward joked that he had not been “taking notes” during Browne’s opening comments, so could not respond to all the points he had made.

Browne also expressed the nation’s wish to become a republic and see the Queen removed as its Head of State.

Dr Mos-Shogbamimu added: “What I can’t understand is how, in 2022, we still have a royal family that refuses to get with the programme, that is so behind the times. They are losing all relevance."

She said that the Queen is given “the benefit of the doubt” due to her age, but there is “no excuse” for her children and grandchildren who are meant to represent her.

During the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s royal tour in March, the Jamaican prime minister also expressed wishes for the nation to become a republic.

William and Kate also faced controversy in the Bahamas as they were urged to acknowledge the British economy was “built on the backs” of past Bahamians and to pay reparations.

At the time William said that whether Caribbean nations remain in the Commonwealth is “for the people to decide upon”.

Additional reporting by PA

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