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Slavery protesters set out on a royal tour in St. Vincent Slavery

When the Queen visited Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in 1985, she met with a jamboree, the Prime Minister handed her a commemorative gold coin, and residents lined the streets with flags.

During Saturday’s trip to the Caribbean island state, her son and daughter-in-law received a slightly chilling welcome.

After arriving on the red carpet in the capital Kingstown behind a steel band playing One Love by Bob Marley, the Earl and Countess of Wessex were confronted by protesters demanding reparations for the slave trade.

Idesha Jackson, 47, was among a crowd of about 20 people in the farming village of Diamond, where Prince Edward traveled to watch athletes training at the Commonwealth Games.

She said she was there to show her “disgust and disappointment” to those who “had to suffer the master’s whip for over 400 years.”

“This wrongdoing was done by one part of the human race and another must be compensated,” Jackson said.

Theo Thomas, 69, who traveled in protest from the Lowmans Hill community on the other side of the country, criticized his government for allowing the visit.

“It is a shame that the so-called progressive government is using our people as props to entertain members of the royal family and there has been no discussion of reparations,” he said.

Among the protesters was Jomo Thomas, former chairman of the National Committee for the Reparations of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. He called on Britain to repair.

“They hunted us, kidnapped us, stole us, processed us.” He owes us and now he has to pay us, “he said. The protests are the latest controversy to ruin recent royal visits to the area.

Prince Edward passes medals to the T10 cricket team at Montreal Gardens Bloomers at Arnos Vale. Stuart C Wilson / Getty Images Pictures

Last month, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge faced demonstrations in Jamaica and the Bahamas.

And last week, Prince Edward and Sophie’s visit to Grenada was abruptly called off. The Grenadine Reparation Commission for Slavery wanted to meet with the couple.

The next part of the Wessex tour will take them to Antigua and Barbuda, where it could be even harsher. Local Reparations Commissioner Dorbrene O’Marde warned that further protests were likely.

Protesters in Kingstown welcome the royal couple. Kenton X Chance / I-Witness News Pictures

In an open letter, the commission accused the royal family and the British government of coming to the Caribbean to “lament that slavery is a ‘terrible atrocity’, that it is ‘terrible’, that ‘it should not have happened’.

“We have heard the false consecration of those who came before you that these crimes are a ‘stain on your history’,” the letter said. “For us, they are a source of genocide and continuing deep international injuries, injustice and racism. We hope that you will respect us by not repeating the mantra. We are not simpletons. “

In the United Kingdom, the National Council of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has called on members of the royal family to reconsider future visits to the Caribbean.

“As a community, we feel that the royal family and Buckingham Palace must reconsider the future of royal tours after previous visits, given their involvement in the treatment of people of color,” the spokesman said. “Feelings have been very strong since my last visit to the Caribbean.” What has changed?”