Prince William addressed him and Kate Middleton’s controversial Caribbean tour in a speech on Wednesday, calling the trip “a chance to reflect.”
He spoke at the unveiling of a statue to mark Windrush Day, which honors Afro-Caribbean immigrants who came to England in the years following World War II. The observance day recognize immigrants who have faced ― and continue to face ― overwhelming hardship and racist and discriminatory practices in the UK.
The Duke spoke of those of the Windrush generation who were ‘wronged’ by the way they were treated and ‘experienced racism when they arrived here’.
Discrimination “remains an all too familiar experience for black men and women in Britain in 2022”, he said, according to TAUT.
The Duke of Cambridge said his family “are proud to celebrate this [day] for decades,” as “people from all communities and walks of life came together to recognize all that has changed over the past seventy years and look to the future.”
He said it “resonated with Catherine and me after our visit to the Caribbean earlier this year,” referring to a trip he and his wife took in March to Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas. They encountered resistance to their visit throughout their travels.
“Our trip was a time to reflect and we learned a lot,” he added. “Not just on the various issues that matter most to people in the region, but also on how the past weighs heavily on the present.”
During the couple’s tour of the Commonwealth realms, where Queen Elizabeth remains head of state, the royal family has faced protests, continued discussions of republicanism and demands to fight against the slavery, reparations and colonialism.
At a meeting in Jamaica, Prime Minister Andrew Holness told William the country intended to follow in Barbados’ footsteps and become a republic, which would mean replacing the Queen as head of state . A politician from Belize also addressed the subject of Belize’s decision to conduct “countrywide consultations on the continuation of the decolonization process.”
William addressed the backlash the Cambridges faced on the trip in a message posted as they returned home.
“I know this tour has brought to light even deeper questions about the past and the future. In Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas, it is up to the people to decide that future,” the duke said at the time.
“Catherine and I are determined to be of service,” he continued. “For us, it’s not about telling people what to do. It’s about serving and supporting them in the way they see fit, using the platform we’re blessed with.
While the Duke of Cambridge spoke about racism in his Windrush Day speech and has previously spoken out against racism in football, he also had to respond to allegations of racism made against the Royal Family during Prince Harry’s explosive interview and of Meghan Markle with Oprah last year. .
The Duke of Cambridge had only a short answer to reporters at the time, telling the press that the Royal Family were “not a racist family at all”.