The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and Prince William were touring the Caribbean when they encountered protesters. Prince William is now speaking out about them. Wednesday’s National Windrush Monument dedication, which recognizes those who immigrated to the UK from Caribbean nations between 1948 and 1971, featured a statement from William that touched on their journey.
Caribbean immigrants first set foot on British soil, June 22, 1948
The day is recognized as Windrush Day and is observed every year on that date. “Reflecting on our journey allowed us to gain so much knowledge. Not just about the numerous issues that are important to the local population, but also about how the past affects the present,”
“Unfortunately, it is also true for the Windrush Generation, who experienced prejudice when they came to this country, and discrimination still affects Black men and women in Britain today, in the year 2022.”
William and Kate had to forgo a stop in Belize during their Caribbean tour in March because of unrest that had broken out before they were scheduled to arrive. The tour was intended as a show of appreciation for the Commonwealth’s support of Queen Elizabeth II, who had earlier in June celebrated 70 years as monarch.
The couple’s initial intentions to tour a cocoa estate in the foothills of the Maya Mountains were changed as a result of the protests, which were organized by indigenous people, some of whom were carrying banners against colonialism.
Protesters gathered in Kingston, the country’s capital, that week to voice their opposition to the couple’s visit when they first landed in Jamaica.
Additionally, a group by the name of the Advocates Network released an open letter objecting to the royals’ visit to the British Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean, claiming that British rule had “perpetuated the greatest human rights tragedy in the history of humankind”—the enslavement of Africans in the area.
The British Commonwealth, which includes 54 countries like Belize, Jamaica, and the Bahamas—all of which William and Kate have already visited—is led by Elizabeth as monarch.
Barbados, a country in the Caribbean, officially became a republic and severed relations with the monarch in late 2021, when it left the Commonwealth.
William acknowledged the so-called Windrush Scandal
Prince William acknowledged the controversy in his speech on Wednesday, in which Caribbean immigrants to the UK were wrongfully singled out for deportation by immigration officials.
“Only a few years ago, the Windrush Scandal deeply mistreated tens of thousands of that generation. The Caribbean community in the United Kingdom and several Caribbean countries take notice of that, and properly so.
Because of this, he continued, “it is important to recognize the ways in which the future they desired and deserved has yet to materialize, along with celebrating the diverse fabric of our families, communities, and society as a whole, to which the Windrush Generation has made such significant contributions. Diversity is what makes us strong and what best represents the contemporary, international values that are so significant to our nation.
William and Kate spent Wednesday interacting with younger British-Caribbean people in addition to visiting the National Windrush Monument. The couple went to South London’s Brixton House to meet kids participating in Elevate, a program that aims to “engage young people with creativity.”
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