Prince William ‘could have gone further’ on slavery – Britain’s opposition leader

Leader of the Opposition for the UK Government, Sir Keir Starmer, said Prince William “could have gone further” by expressing his grief over slavery in a speech given by the royal in Jamaica last week.

Starmer, leader of Britain’s Labor Party, made the comments during a radio show on Britain’s LBC network on Monday.

The comments follow William and Kate Middleton’s high-profile tour of the Caribbean, with visits to Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas. The tour has come under heavy criticism for a series of public relations mistakes, including the royal family being photographed next to local children held behind a wire fence.

At every stop on their tour, the couple were also nearly greeted with a series of protests calling on the Royal Family to acknowledge and apologize for their ancestors’ role in the slave trade and to negotiate reparations.

Prince William and Kate Middleton review a military parade from a Land Rover during their visit to Jamaica. March 24, 2022.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

In a speech at a reception in Jamaica, William broached the subject of slavery, calling it a “stain” on “our history” and saying the practice is “abhorrent” and “never should have happened”. produce”.

Speaking about the comment, Starmer told LBC listeners that he thinks William “could have gone further…it’s hard…I think he could go further in the future.”

William’s comments didn’t go far enough for protesters who continued to come forward on the next leg of the Bahamas tour. It was here, in the final speech of the tour, that William addressed a wider movement among the Caribbean islands to debate whether to remove the Queen from their head of state, as Barbados l most recently did in 2021.

He said: “With Jamaica celebrating 60 years of independence this year and Belize celebrating 40 years of independence last year, I want to say this: We proudly support and respect your decisions regarding your future. evolve. Friendship endures.”

Speaking on LBC, Starmer acknowledged the tour has put William and Kate in a difficult position.

Starmer said: ‘William and Kate have been on an important journey with important messages, including messages about the changing nature of the Commonwealth in the future and that is difficult.’

The frontman then addressed the poor PR opportunities that arose during the tour, including an appearance in which William and Kate drove in the back of an open Land Rover to review a military engagement in Jamaica . The resulting images of the event were compared to those taken of monarchs during the time of the empire.

Starmer told LBC: “What William and Kate are doing – which I’m applauding – is saying, ‘we’re looking to the future’, but [the images taken during the military parade] they’re all reminiscent of the past, so I don’t see how that fits so well with the purpose of their trip.”

Since the last day of the royal tour on Saturday, there has been much discussion about the political and social issues raised by the monarchy and the Caribbean. Some royal commentators, including Jan Moir for the daily mail, reported William and Kate’s visit as one of the last of its kind.

Moir told readers: “What this week has shown is that the days of the grand royal overseas visit are surely numbered… The very idea that the royal family should step out, in all their finery and jewelry, to distant lands to meet people they expect to bow and bow to them, or at the very least pay homage to them, is growing nonsense.”

William reaffirmed his and Kate’s commitment to the Commonwealth in his final speech in the Bahamas, also addressing the fact that he may never become its leader as the title is not automatically inherited upon becoming king. In 2018, Commonwealth leaders had to vote to confirm that Prince Charles would take over the post after the Queen’s death.

William said: “Catherine and I are committed to serving. For us, it’s not about telling people what to do. It’s about serving and supporting them in whatever way they think is best, using the platform that we are fortunate to have.

“That’s why tours like this reaffirm our desire to serve the people of the Commonwealth and listen to communities around the world. Who the Commonwealth chooses to lead their families in the future is not what I think. .

“What matters to us is the potential of the Commonwealth family to create a better future for the people who make it up, and our commitment to serve and support as best we can.”

To that end, Starmer made the following assessment: “At the end of the day, William and Kate are right, time changes things and we need to make sure this relationship is fit for the future as well as the past.”

Elizabeth II is head of state in 15 countries, including eight in the Caribbean. William and Kate’s tour of the region is followed by the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, and his wife, who will visit Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in April, marking the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee.

For more royal news and commentary, check out Newsweek’s The Royal Report podcast:
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Sir Keir Starmer (left) said Prince William (right) ‘could have gone further’ with his comments about slavery during his Caribbean tour Starmer pictured at a party conference, January 4, 2022. Prince William pictured in Jamaica, March 24, 2022.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage


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