The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived in Jamaica as a protest was staged against the British monarchy asking for reparations for slavery. In a video of the ceremonial welcome at Kingston’s Norman Manley International AirportLisa Hanna, Kate sat next to Lisa Hanna, a politician with the People’s National Party. While the two women chatted happily throughout, there was one moment where Ms Hanna turned away from the smiling Duchess which social media users picked up on.
Twitter user Euen Herbert wrote: “Lisa Hanna snubs Kate Middleton in protest of reparations.
“Sorry, Kate but if you, William, Charlie of Lizzy can’t say sorry or talk bout de money you owe, don’t chat to me.”
Gavin added: “My heart must weak because the second hand embarrassment just broke me.”
Dennis Arthurs asked: “Why did Lisa go to the visit if she felt so badly about it?
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“Why go an to top it all she sat beside Kate and refused to engage in conversation by looking away when spoken to.
“I feel strongly that the Monarchy needs to apologise but we can also be respectful.”
Hafsa noted: “I hope Meghan is somewhere seeing this.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Belize on Saturday to start the tour that coincides with Queen Elizabeth’s 70th year on the throne, and will conclude it over the weekend with a visit to The Bahamas.
They were received by Jamaican foreign affairs minister Kamina Johnson-Smith and Defense Force Chief Antonette Wemyss Gorman at Kingston’s Norman Manley airport. They then left to meet Governor General Patrick Allen, who represents the British crown in Jamaica.
Earlier, dozens of people gathered outside the British High Commission in Kingston, singing traditional Rastafarian songs and holding banners with the phrase “seh yuh sorry” – a local patois phrase that urged Britain to apologize.
“There are historical wrongs and they need to be addressed,” said Dr. Rosalea Hamilton, an economist and activist who helped organize the rally where demonstrators read out 60 reasons for reparations. Jamaica celebrates 60 years of independence in August.
“Part of the conversation is how we begin a new dispensation and (discussion) of actions for the new generation,” said Hamilton, dressed in a T-shirt printed with the phrase “seh yuh sorry.”
The royal visits to Caribbean nations are seen as an effort to convince other former British colonies – including Belize and The Bahamas – to stay on as “realms” of the British monarchy amid a rising regional movement towards republicanism.
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Dance hall singer Beenie Man in an interview with Good Morning Britain questioned the royal visit and expressed skepticism about the queen, saying “What are they doing for Jamaica? They’re not doing anything for us.”
One Jamaican judge, Hugh Small, this month burned his ceremonial British judicial wigs in a symbolic protest of the fact that a London-based tribunal called Privy Council continues to be Jamaica’s highest court of appeals.
William and Kate are scheduled to participate in a “sports activity” and a “cultural activity” on Tuesday as part of the tour that wraps up on Thursday, according to a preliminary agenda seen by Reuters.
The couple had to change their itinerary in Belize following a protest by a few dozen indigenous villagers upset that the couple’s helicopter was given permission to land on a soccer field without prior consultation.
Jamaica lawmaker Mike Henry has proposed reparations package of 7.6 billion pounds ($10 billion).