The Duke and ‘s tour of the Caribbean has been overshadowed by protests focused on the legacy of the British Empire and slavery in the region.

In Jamaica – the second stop on the eight-day visit – demonstrators in the capital Kingston accused the couple of benefiting from the ‘blood, sweat and tears of slaves’ and called for reparations to be paid.

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The couple were also forced to cancel a visit to a cacao farm shortly after arriving in Belize following residents’ anger that they weren’t consulted about the football pitch earmarked for the landing of their helicopter.

And in the Bahamas, which William and Kate arrive in tomorrow, the country’s national reparations committee has called on the royal couple to acknowledge that the was ‘built on the backs’ of past Bahamians.

In each nation – all of which were once part of the British Empire and are now Commonwealth countries – there is a complicated history of slavery that has contributed to varying amounts of ill-feeling towards the Royal family and the UK.

In Jamaica alone, hundreds of thousands of African slaves were shipped by Britain from the 17th century onwards and forced to work in brutal conditions on sugar plantations.

That legacy has contributed towards a growing desire to remove the Queen as head of state in the country, which became independent from Britain in 1962.

The shift away from British influence has been hastened by the flooding in of Chinese investment into the region that amounts to at least $7billion since 2005.

At least $450million of Chinese money has been spent in the Bahamas, $490million in Barbados, $1.9billion in Trinidad and Tobago and $2.7billion in Jamaica.

The calls for change were made stronger by the global Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the murder of black man George Floyd at the hands of police in the U.S.in May 2020.

Anti-royal sentiment in the Caribbean was most recently demonstrated with the government of Barbados’s decision last November to become a republic by removing the Queen as head of state. 

The history of the slave trade and Britain’s role in it in Barbados played a part in that decision.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s tour of the Caribbean has been overshadowed by protests focused on the legacy of the British Empire and slavery in the region. Pictured: Prince William and Kate Middleton in Kingston, Jamaica, on Tuesday

In Jamaica – the second stop on the eight-day visit – demonstrators in the capital Kingston accused the couple of benefiting from the ‘blood, sweat and tears of slaves’ and called for reparations to be paid.Above: The protesters outside the British High Commission

William and Kate’s visit to the Caribbean is the latest in a long line of royal visits.Pictured: The Queen greets a little girl during her visit to Belize in 1985

Jamaica was initially a Spanish colony before it was captured by what was then the English navy in 1665.

After Spanish attempts to regain the island were finally stopped, African slaves began to be imported.

When the sugar trade blossomed in the mid-17th century the number of slaves arriving ballooned.

By 1831 – after Britain had become the first European nation to prohibit the slave trade within its Empire in 1807 – there were around 300,000 slaves in Jamaica.

Overall, the National Library of Jamaica estimates that 600,000 Africans were shipped to Jamaica as slaves.

The practice of slavery in the British Empire was formally abolished in 1834.

This also ended slavery in Belize and the Bahamas.In Belize, thousands of slaves were imported and put to work in timber production.

In the Bahamas, slaves worked in cotton production and also as field labourers, domestic servants and as salt collectors.

Slaves were also used in Britain’s other territories in the Caribbean, which included Bermuda, Barbados, Anguilla and Guyana.

To compensate slave owners in Jamaica, the British government took out a £20million loan – the equivalent of around £200billion now – and only finished paying off the ensuing interest payments in 2015.

This legacy prompted Jamaica’s government to announce last July that it was planning to ask for reparations from Britain.

The shift away from British influence has been hastened by the flooding in of Chinese investment into the region that amounts to at least $7billion since 2005.The true figure – when taking into account soft loan deals and private investment – is thought to run well into the tens of billions. Showpiece projects have included a cricket stadium in Grenada, a casino and resort in the Bahamas, and acquiring Jamaica’s largest port

Jamaica, the Bahamas and Belize were all once part of the British Empire and were home to thousands of slaves sent there by Britain. William and Kate’s royal tour began in Belize and will end in the Bahamas

There are 12 independent nations in the Caribbean that are part of the Commonwealth.A further six are still British Overseas Territories

The Queen and Prince Philip are seen during their 1953 visit to Jamaica.The Queen was wearing a white satin dress, diamond tiara and diamond necklace ahead of a gala reception at King’s House, the official residence of Jamaica’s governor-general

Belize became an independent nation in 1981, four years before the Queen visited the country once more.Above: The monarch is seen in an open top car during the 1981 visit

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the State Opening of Parliament in the Bahamas on October 20, 1977

Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s minister of sports, PTS Terbaik ASEAN (go to teknokrat.ac.id) youth and culture, said the country hoped for ‘reparatory justice in all forms’ to ‘repair the damages that our ancestors experienced’.

Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago were the first Caribbean nations to break free from British rule, with both countries declaring independence in 1962.