After staying mysteriously quiet on all things royal for a month or longer, Camilla Tominey has a curious and neo-colonialist piece in the Telegraph this week. While it includes one jab at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, it’s mostly about how the old British Empire has fallen apart at the seams and many countries are either hostile to the British monarchy or completely apathetic towards them. She basically listed a handful of countries and described whether they’re “still loyal” or whether relations are “tricky” or “hostile.” Some highlights:
Canada is tricky: Republican sympathy has also been simmering away in Canada, despite Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pro-monarchy stance, particularly among young Canadians. Trudeau’s Millennial and Gen-Z supporters would like him to press ahead with a referendum to create a Republic of Canada, with polls suggesting that a majority of the electorate would support the replacement of constitutional monarchy by an elected president, although only the separatist Bloc Québécois has actually proposed and voted for abolition in the Canadian parliament.
Canada’s First Nations people: First Nations people have called on the King to renounce the Doctrine of Discovery, the law they claim sanctioned “the colonial possession of Indigenous lands and has justified violence against Indigenous people”. Any imminent royal visit to Canada is inevitably going to have to address this as well as the as yet unsubstantiated claim that indigenous school children were killed and placed in mass graves as part of a “genocidal” plan devised by John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first prime minister. With the Liberals threatening to make it a hate crime to “deny” this alleged mass murder took place – despite there being no supporting evidence of it whatsoever – Canada could prove to be an exceptionally difficult royal nut to crack.
Tominey lists The Bahamas as “hostile”: No sooner had William and Kate arrived in the Caribbean for an eight-day visit in March last year than the Bahamas National Reparations Committee had demanded an apology for slavery. In what was later dubbed a “PR disaster” for the couple, the Caribbean charm offensive was knocked off course by repeated calls for reparations from the Royal family and British Government. In an open letter, the committee wrote: “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 fueled by the extinction, enslavement, colonisation, and degradation of the people of this land? Why are we being made to pay again?” Any return to the Bahamas is likely to face a similarly frosty response.
Jamaica is listed as “hostile” as well: William and Kate were met with a lukewarm welcome when they touched down in Kingston to tour Bob Marley’s old neighbourhood of Trench Town, only to be told: “We see no reason to celebrate 70 years of the ascension of your grandmother to the British throne because her leadership, and that of her predecessors, has perpetuated the greatest human rights tragedy in the history of humankind.”
Belize is listed as hostile: William and Kate’s visit to the central American Commonwealth country didn’t get off to the best start when they were forced to cancel their first engagement following opposition from villagers who cited a range of issues including objections to their helicopter landing site. The couple were scheduled to tour a cacao farm in the Maya Mountains but had to divert after residents in the Indian Creek area complained to Flora and Fauna International, a conservation organisation of which William is a royal patron. Amid reports tensions had mounted over the “meaning of consent in the context of communal land rights, rights to lands that were expunged in the colonial period by the British”, the chair of Indian Creek village, Sebastian Shol, told journalists: “We don’t want them to land on our land, that’s the message that we want to send. They could land anywhere, but not on our land.”
The woke royals: Even the wokest royals can run into trouble overseas. When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex toured South Africa in 2019 they were criticised for their insensitivity after Meghan opined to ITV’s Tom Bradby: “Not many people have asked if I’m okay” after visiting a township of the world’s poorest people.
[From The Telegraph]
She couldn’t help herself with that line about Meghan, who was at the time only five months postpartum and about six months from the darkest moment of her life (when she was suicidal), having been targeted by one of the most disgusting national hate campaigns for more than a year. I guess Tominey missed the fact that Meghan and Harry’s African tour was successful, as was their South Pacific Tour the year before. Meghan and Harry were the international assets to the institution, and the Commonwealth countries watched as the first woman of color in the royal family was smeared, denigrated, harassed, tormented and exiled. That’s a factor here as well, it was a real turning point for many people who had previously been supportive or lukewarm about the crown. As for William and Kate leaving a legacy of hostility to the crown in every Caribbean nation they visited in 2022… lol. God, their Caribbean Flop Tour was amazing, just flop after flop after flop. It went so badly that all of the countries they visited are all going to ghost the crown.
Photos courtesy of Instar, Backgrid.
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