Royal visit to see renewed calls for slavery reparations

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A model home constructed at Paradise Cove in Villa, which represents one of the designs
A model home constructed at Paradise Cove in Villa, which represents one of the designs
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The country’s Reparations Support Commission has pledged to side with other Caribbean countries by again demanding compensation for slavery during next Monday’s visit to Antigua and Barbuda by members of the British royal family.

Preparations are currently gathering momentum ahead of the arrival of the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, who will land in the twin-island nation on Monday morning before flying out again later that day.

Yesterday, a practice run motorcade was staged from the airport to St John’s to help ensure the trip goes without a hitch.

The couple’s whistle-stop trip – as part of the Queen’s historic Platinum Jubilee celebrations – is set to include a visit to the National Sailing Academy in English Harbour. The Earl and Countess of Wessex are also set to call in at Government House and the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

Chairman of the Reparations Support Commission Dorbrene O’Marde said yesterday that an open letter to the royals will be issued imminently outlining the body’s stance.

“The letter will essentially support the positions taken by other Caribbean people as far as the issue of reparations is concerned, and the inability or the absence of an apology from the Crown both as family and as an institution for the role in the enslavement of African people,” he revealed.

The royal couple’s April 25 visit is part of a week-long tour of the Caribbean which also includes Grenada, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

They are the second set of royals to tour the region as part of events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II in February 1952.

Last month’s visit to Jamaica, Belize and the Bahamas by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was steeped in controversy amid calls for reparations from Britain for its role in the transatlantic slave trade.

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