William and Kate's Visit Makes Some Fear End of Royal Tour As We Know It

Prince William and Kate Middleton's tour of the Caribbean has left a leading commentator remarking that "the days of the big royal overseas visit are surely numbered."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge set out to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's 70-year reign, but by the time they got on the plane home two out of their three destinations had indicated a desire to remove her as head of state.

Together with a number of unfortunate photo ops, Jan Moir, a columnist in the pro-royal Daily Mail, was just one spectator to consider the implications for the future of the monarchy.

She wrote: "What this week showed is that the days of the big royal overseas visit are surely numbered.

"The very idea that the Royal Family should sally forth, in all their finery and jewels, to faraway lands to meet people they expect to bow and curtsey to them, or pay homage at the very least, is an increasing absurdity.

"The royals on the road? It is like a band going on a farewell tour to play their greatest hits, only to discover that no one is listening any more, that the fans are moving to a different drumbeat. It is not over yet, not quite.

"However, this week we glimpsed the royal future post-Queen—and it is not looking bright."

She added: "Indeed, if Kate's glue-gun grin gets any more fixed, someone is going to have to chisel it off when she gets home."

She was not the only one. Peter Hunt, a former BBC royal correspondent, made a similar observation after seeing pictures of William and Kate being driven around in a Land Rover at a military parade in Kingston on March 24.

The couple stood upright on the back seat in a re-creation of a visit by his grandmother and grandfather, the Queen and Prince Philip, in 1953.

Hunt wrote on Twitter: "It's an image that conjures up a colonial past at odds with a republic bound Jamaica and in our BLM, Windrush scandal world. They'll never do a royal tour like this again. The fact they did, is a reminder of the price the royals are still paying for purging good advisors in 2017."

Criticism of the photos also caught the attention of popular political satirist Cold War Steve, who made Hunt's remarks somewhat more explicit in an image to his 387,600 followers.

Beyond the awkward photos, there appear to be concrete consequences to the tour after first Jamaica and then Belize indicated potential moves to remove the queen as head of state.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness chose to tell William and Kate of his country's ambitions towards independence in person when he met them in Kingston on March 23.

He referenced protests calling for reparations and said: "There are issues here, which are, as you would know, unresolved. But your presence gives an opportunity for those issues to be placed in context, put front and center, and to be addressed."

He added: "And we're moving on. And we intend to attain, in short order, our development goals and fulfill our true ambitions and destiny as an independent, developed, prosperous country."

For more royal news and commentary check out Newsweek's The Royal Report podcast:

Henry Charles Usher, government minister for public service, constitutional and political reform, told the Belize parliament on March 24 how a new constitutional commission will look into how the country is governed.

Quoted by Loop Caribbean News, he said: "Madame Speaker, the decolonization process is enveloping the Caribbean region.

"Perhaps it is time for Belize to take the next step in truly owning our independence. But it is a matter that the people of Belize must decide on."

Prince William and Kate confronted the backlash against their tour in a message on their official Twitter account.

They wrote: "Foreign tours are an opportunity to reflect. You learn so much. What is on the minds of Prime Ministers. The hopes and ambitions of school children. The day-to-day challenges faced by families and communities.

"I know that this tour has brought into even sharper focus questions about the past and the future.

"In Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas, that future is for the people to decide upon. But we have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with communities in all three countries understanding more about the issues that matter most to them."

They added: "Catherine and I are committed to service. For us that's not telling people what to do. It is about serving and supporting them in whatever way they think best, by using the platform we are lucky to have."

William and Kate's Jamaica Parade
Prince William and Kate Middleton attend the Caribbean Military Academy commissioning parade at the Jamaica Defence Force's Up Park Camp in Kingston, Jamaica, on March 24, 2022. Images from the event reminded a royal commentator of colonialism. RICARDO MAKYN/AFP via Getty Images