Prince William and Kate Must Apologize for U.K.'s Past—Jamaican Protester

Prince William and Kate Middleton must apologize for the British Empire's atrocities in Jamaica if they want a warm welcome in the country, a protest leader told Newsweek.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to visit the Caribbean nation as part of a tour celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne.

However, a protest is planned in Kingston at 10.30 am local time (11.30am ET) on Tuesday, March 22, as campaigners call on the couple to apologize for Britain's colonial past.

Professor Rosalea Hamilton, of the Advocates Network, a human rights coalition of activists and equalities organisations, told Newsweek: "I think they will get a lot of warmth if they apologize and begin to open a new chapter.

"In the absence of that, it's more of the same and I think there's a lot of impatience and people have just had enough."

The Advocates Network also released an open letter signed by 100 people including lawyers, entrepreneurs, politicians, musicians and religious leaders.

The document, seen by Newsweek, reads: "We see no reason to celebrate 70 years of the ascension of your grandmother to the British throne because her leadership, and that of her predecessors, have perpetuated the greatest human rights tragedy in the history of humankind.

"Her ascension to the throne, in February 1952, took place 14 years after the 1938 labour uprisings against inhumane working/living conditions and treatment of workers; painful legacies of plantation slavery, which persist today.

"During her 70 years on the throne, your grandmother has done nothing to redress and atone for the suffering of our ancestors that took place during her reign and/or during the entire period of British trafficking of Africans, enslavement, indentureship and colonialization."

Marking 60 years of Jamaican independence, the network published what it described in the letter as "60 reasons why you [William and Kate] should apologize and begin a process of reparatory justice."

The debate comes four months after Barbados removed the queen as head of state in order to break with the country's colonial past.

Hamilton, founding director of the Institute of Law and Economics in Kingston, described the possibility of Jamaica removing the queen as head of state as "very real."

She added: "Both political parties have indicated in their manifestos over the past many years that they intend to move away.

"That's very clear. They've said it but done nothing about it. And I think the difference may well be that the people of Jamaica have not demanded that.

"I think on this 60th anniversary the people of Jamaica will demand it. The Advocates Network and other organizations and individuals who feel strongly about trying to end the British Monarchy, the queen as the head of state in Jamaica, will make their voices heard."

Jamaica marks the 60th anniversary of independence from British rule on August 6, two months after the main celebrations of the queen's Platinum Jubilee, which take place in early June.

Queen Elizabeth II is head of state in 15 countries around the world, including Britain and Jamaica, having been removed by Barbados in November.

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Prince William and Kate in Belize
Prince William and Kate Middleton visit Hopkins, in Belize, on March 20, 2022, during their Platinum Jubilee tour of the Caribbean. Their next stop will be Jamaica where a protest over British colonialism is planned. Chris Jackson-Pool/Getty Images