Prince William: Caribbean tour ‘brought into even sharper focus questions about the past and the future’
Prince William said his recent tour of the Caribbean has brought a sharper focus on the past, present, and future of the Royal Family amid backlash over the monarchy’s past involvement with slavery, The Associated Press reported.
In a statement on Sunday, Prince William acknowledged the monarchy’s troubled past with slavery and recent criticism of him and his wife, Duchess Kate.
During eight days, the royal couple visited the Caribbean countries of Belize, Jamaica, and the Bahamas, which are considered commonwealths.
“I know that this tour has brought into even sharper focus questions about the past and the future,” William said in his statement. “In Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas, that future is for the people to decide upon.”
The commonwealth is a group of 54 nations that are aligned with the monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II has ruled the monarchy for over six decades.
“Who the Commonwealth chooses to lead its family in the future isn’t what is on my mind,” William said. “What matters to us is the potential the Commonwealth family has to create a better future for the people who form it, and our commitment to serve and support as best we can.”
William’s remarks come as Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the royal couple on Wednesday that his country plans to shift toward being a republic, removing the British as its head of state.
The royal couple was also met with protest throughout their visit, as demonstrators called for the monarchy to hand out reparations for slavery.
In a speech in the Bahamas on Friday, Prince William recognized that nation’s stance on being independent.
“We support with pride and respect your decisions about your future,” William said. “Relationships evolve. Friendship endures.”
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