Cropped images of William and Kate greeting fans through a wire fence in Trench Town, Jamaica, ignited a Twitter storm on Wednesday. The barrier surrounded a football field where William enjoyed a kickabout with England striker Raheem Sterling.
As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Jamaica on Tuesday, they were met with a demonstration calling for the monarchy to pay reparations for slavery.
Politicians for the Caribbean country have been urged to drop the Queen as head of state and for Jamaica to become a republic.
Twitter user @SharLovegrove tweeted in response to a picture showing Kate smiling and reaching out to admirers: “Everything about this is wrong.”
Author Omid Scobie, who co-wrote a book about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, tweeted: “Fans climbing walls, reaching through railings etc is nothing new – seen it on every tour.
“However, my point is, given the discussions currently happening, it would have served the situation well to be mindful of how certain scenes might look and think about things contextually.”
@JimMFelton mocked: “Will and Kate: Just off to the colonies to shake hands with some caged children.”
ITV’s Royal Editor Chris Ship dismissed the furore, tweeting: “Can we insert some sense (and facts) into this fence photo in Trench Town?
“There was a fence around the football pitch. People gathered to watch the match with [Raheem Sterling].
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Mr Holness said during a photo opportunity with the Duke and Duchess: “There are issues here which as you would know are unresolved.
“But Jamaica is as you would see a country that is very proud … and we’re moving on. And we intend … to fulfil our true ambition of being an independent, fully developed and prosperous country.”
Dozens of people gathered outside the British High Commission in Kingston on Tuesday, holding banners with the phrase “Seh yuh sorry”, a patois phrase urging Britain to apologise.
Opal Adisa, a Jamaican human rights advocate who helped organise the demonstration, also 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.”
She added: “You know, we don’t have anything personally against Kate and Prince William, and even the Queen, for that matter, but we’re simply saying you’ve done wrong, and it is way past time that you admit that you’ve done wrong and when you do, redressing it.”
Jamaican officials have said the government is studying the process of reforming the constitution to become a republic.
Experts say the process could take years and would require a referendum.
Barbados removed the Queen as head of state four months ago. It did so relatively quickly because its constitution only requires a decision by parliament.
Last year, Jamaica’s government said it would ask Britain for compensation for forcibly transporting an estimated 600,000 Africans to work on sugar cane and banana plantations that created fortunes for British slave holders.