A movement in Jamaica—land of the Blue Mountains—has already commenced to removing the British monarchy as head of state, as of Tuesday. Reports of the resistance come as Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal tour of the Caribbean in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were visiting to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence and the 70th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
According to a report on Sunday by The Independent, the letter from 100 Jamaican leaders read, in part: “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, has perpetuated the greatest human rights tragedy in the history of humankind.”
Ironically, the trip aimed to strengthen Britain’s ties with Commonwealth countries in Central America and the Caribbean. A few countries have been considering cutting ties to the monarchy similarly as the island of Barbados did in November.
USA Today reported the couple was forced to cancel a visit to a Belizean cacao farm on Saturday.
Last weekend Jamaica’s culture minister, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, confirmed ahead of the royal visit that the government was pushing forward with its strategy to seek apologies and reparations for slavery from Britain. Grange asked the governmental advisory body to “continue to work impatiently for justice for the atrocities committed against our ancestors, and those which flow from this history and persist against our people today.”
She also urged them to “step up the pace” on the separation. The Independent reported that despite the movement’s momentum, there does lie “some resistance from within the Jamaican Government.” This hints at the motives of the recent appointment of Prime Minister Andrew Holness as a sovereign advisor in the Queen’s Privy Council.
The royals are set to depart Jamaica and continue the weeklong royal excursion in the Bahamas on Thursday.