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Prince Edward and his wife Sophie arrived in Saint Lucia Friday at the start of a seven-day tour of the Caribbean, against the backdrop of a letter critical of the Royal family for past comments on Slavery.
The open letter from the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission urged the Earl and Countess of Wessex to avoid ‘phoney sanctimony’ over Slavery.
The strongly-worded message to the British royal family renewed calls for an apology for Britain’s role in the transatlantic slave trade.
“It has become common for members of the royal family and representatives of the government of Britain to come to this region and lament that slavery was an ‘appalling atrocity’, that it was ‘abhorrent’, that ‘it should not have happened’,” the letter stated.
“We have heard such from your former Prime Minister David Cameron and most recently from your brother, the Prince of Wales, and your nephew, Prince William, but such sentiments did not convey new knowledge to us,” the document stated.
“African people and their descendants – as most of us are – have known such since the middle of the 16th century. We have been on the receiving end of the barbarity. We hear the phony sanctimony of those who came before you that these crimes are a ‘stain on your history’,” the letter asserted.
And it appealed to the visiting Royals not to repeat such a mantra.
Prince Edward and his wife Sophie are the latest royals to tour the Caribbean as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee celebrations.
Last month’s visit to the region by Prince William and his wife Kate brought protests demanding restorative justice.
The Saint Lucia National Reparations Committee (NRC), in a statement before the visit here by the Earl and Countess of Wessex, welcomed the opportunity to continue its Reparations advocacy during and after the visit, through related public education actions.
“The CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC), of which the NRC is a member, holds that the Royal Family and Britain owe every former West Indian colony “A Full and Formal Apology” for their roles in Slavery,” the NRC asserted.
In addition, the Saint Lucia organisation observed that Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders insist that expressions of royal sorrow and regret do not represent the equal will to repair that comes with an apology.
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