A Bahamas committee has called on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to acknowledge the British economy was “built on the backs” of past Bahamians and pay reparations.
The Caribbean country’s national reparations committee has issued a strongly worded document a few days ahead of William and Kate’s three-day tour of the country which begins on Thursday.
The body claims the monarchy has “looted and pillaged our land and our people for centuries, leaving us struggling with under development, left to pick up the pieces.”
The Cambridges are on an eight-day tour of the Caribbean and have seen anti-royal protests in their first stop Belize and Jamaica, with protestors in the latter’s capital Kingston accusing the couple of benefitting from the “blood, tears and sweat” of slaves.
In 2013 the Bahamas committee was founded to establish the moral, ethical, and legal case for the payment of repatriations by European countries.
It said in the statement: “We, the members of the Bahamas National Reparations Committee (BNRC), recognise that the people of the Bahamas have been left holding the bag for much of the cost of this extravagant trip.
“Why are we footing the bill for the benefit of a regime whose rise to ‘greatness‘ was fuelled by the extinction, enslavement, colonisation, and degradation of the people of this land? Why are we being made to pay again?
“The visit to commemorates 70 years since Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne of imperialism – more years than the Bahamas has been a sovereign nation.
“The BNRC asserts that we as Bahamians must have a clear understanding of what this trip truly means. We are not beholden to the British monarchy in any way and we do not owe them a debt of gratitude for anything – not for our culture, religion, or system of governance.
“Instead the monarchy has looted and pillaged our land and our people for centuries, leaving us struggling with under development, left to pick up the pieces.
A royal source has said the duke was aware of the Jamaican protest staged outside the British High Commission on Tuesday and was expected to acknowledge the issue of slavery in a speech on Wednesday night during a dinner hosted by the Governor General of Jamaica.