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Committee urges William and Kate to acknowledge British debt to Bahamians

The group was founded to establish the moral, ethical, and legal case for the payment of reparations by European countries.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the Ukrainian Cultural Centre, London, where they are meeting with members of the Ukrainian community and volunteers to learn about the efforts being made to support Ukrainians in the UK and across Europe (PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the Ukrainian Cultural Centre, London, where they are meeting with members of the Ukrainian community and volunteers to learn about the efforts being made to support Ukrainians in the UK and across Europe (PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the Ukrainian Cultural Centre, London, where they are meeting with members of the Ukrainian community and volunteers to learn about the efforts being made to support Ukrainians in the UK and across Europe (PA)

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.”

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The Duke of Cambridge (right) speaks with Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Edward Davis during a meeting with his Earthshot prize winners at Cop26 (Alistair Grant/PA)

The Duke of Cambridge (right) speaks with Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Edward Davis during a meeting with his Earthshot prize winners at Cop26 (Alistair Grant/PA)

PA

The Duke of Cambridge (right) speaks with Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Edward Davis during a meeting with his Earthshot prize winners at Cop26 (Alistair Grant/PA)

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?

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William and Kate were mobbed by crowds in Jamaica on the same day a protest against the visit was held (Chris Jackson/PA)

William and Kate were mobbed by crowds in Jamaica on the same day a protest against the visit was held (Chris Jackson/PA)

PA

William and Kate were mobbed by crowds in Jamaica on the same day a protest against the visit was held (Chris Jackson/PA)

“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.

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