As William, Kate Visit, Jamaican PM Makes Surprise Announcement

He says island will seek full independence
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2022 10:55 AM CDT
During Royal Visit, PM Says Jamaica Is 'Moving on' From Monarchy
A man protests outside the British Council to demand an apology and slavery reparations during a visit to the former British colony by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate, in Kingston, Jamaica, Tuesday, March 22, 2022.   (AP Photo/Collin Reid)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's trip to Jamaica might go down in history as one of the least successful royal visits on record. During an official welcome Wednesday, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness unexpectedly announced that the island nation is planning to become fully independent, which would involve cutting its ties with the British monarchy, the Guardian reports. "We are moving on," he said. "We intend to ... fulfill our true ambitions and destiny as an independent, developed, prosperous country." The AP reports that William and Kate, who were standing next to Holness, "did not immediately react except for only a couple of brief head nods."

The couple's visit to Jamaica spurred protests demanding the removal of Queen Elizabeth II as the country's head of state and reparations for slavery and other abuses during the island's centuries as a British colony. In a speech Wednesday night, William expressed his "profound sorrow" about slavery but stopped short of the apology protesters have been demanding, the BBC reports. "Slavery was abhorrent and it never should have happened," he said. "I strongly agree with my father, the Prince of Wales, who said in Barbados last year that the appalling atrocity of slavery forever stains our history." (More Jamaica stories.)

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