Sophie and Edward are embarking on a six-day tour of the Caribbean to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – but their trip has already faced challenges with their visit to Grenada being cancelled the day before they left. The eleventh-hour decision was allegedly made to ensure the goals of the tour – to celebrate the islands and mark the Queen’s 70-year reign – are met, but the postponement request came directly from the Grenadian government, and no official explanation was given.
A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “In consultation with the government of Grenada and on the advice of the Governor-General, The Earl and Countess of Wessex’s visit to Grenada has been postponed. The Earl and Countess hope to visit at a later date.”
Grenada gained independence in 1974 but the Queen remains head of state.
The Wessexes are still expected to visit two other nations, Antigua and Barbuda and St Vincent and the Grenadines, after their trip to St Lucia.
This tour comes as relations between Caribbean Commonwealth countries and the British Royal Family are particularly fragile.
Last month, Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were met with protests on their royal tour of Belize, the Bahamas, and Jamaica.
Campaigners slammed the royal tour’s “colonial overtones” and demanded reparations for slavery, amid claims the Queen had “perpetuated the greatest human rights tragedy in history”.
Ahead of the Wessex tour, the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission also expressed concerns writing an open letter criticising the Royal Family for past comments on slavery.
It read: “We hear the phoney sanctimony of those who came before you that these crimes are a ‘stain on your history’…
“We hope you will respect us by not repeating the mantra. We are not simpletons.”
The week-long tour will see Sophie and Edward “meet communities, local entrepreneurs and craftspeople, and young people” as well as athletes training for the Commonwealth Games.
In November 2021 Barbados formally removed the Queen as its Head of State, becoming a republic.
At the time, the Queen sent the country her “warmest good wishes” for “happiness, peace and prosperity in the future,” and said the nation holds a “special place” in her heart.
But the domino effect had already begun, with other nations, including Jamaica and Belize, indicating they could soon follow Barbados and end their association with Britain as a colonial power, with some analysts saying that many nations will be waiting for the Queen to die before severing the remain ties.
In December, Andrew Holness, the Jamaican prime minister, said there was “no question that Jamaica has to become a republic”.
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