The week-long visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in three Caribbean countries ends in the Bahamas where they landed yesterday for the final leg of their tour, and the calls for independence from the monarchy have been trailing them throughout their itinerary.
On Friday, a protest in the Bahamas will be staged by Rastafarian groups to demand reparation payments by Great Britain and an apology for slavery, according to a report by Reuters. A similar call is stated in a letter of the Bahamas National Reparations Committee, an independent panel created by the government to study the issue.
“They and their family of Royals and their Government must acknowledge that their diverse economy was built on the backs of our ancestors,” read a letter published on Tuesday. “They must pay.”
In Jamaica, one of the three Caribbean countries that the royals visited, its prime minister made it clear that it is “moving on” and Jamaica intends to attain and fulfill “its true ambitions as an independent, developed and prosperous country” in short order.
In Belize, the royal couple had to cancel their village trip because of protests and objections from the villagers, who are in the middle of a dispute with Flora and Fauna International (FFI), a conservation charity that Prince William is a patron of.
Their tour comes after Barbados in November removed the Queen as its head of state. Observers have seen other countries in the Caribbean that were inspired to do the same decision.
However, in a TIME interview, Barbadian political analyst and pollster Peter Wickham said that some Commonwealth realms “may struggle to relinquish the monarchy” even if this is what he public and the government wants because of the way it’s going to be decided.
He explained that Barbados was successful in relinquishing the monarchy because “its constitution allowed the government to take the decision independently.”
In other countries like Jamaica, it can only happen through a referendum with a two-thirds majority. “I don’t believe it will ever happen because the referendum will be manipulated by political parties,” Wickham explained.
Wickham also said that while Elizabeth II is quite popular in the region, many of the Caribbean nations perceive her as “not really relevant.”