Kate Middleton and William’s turbulent Jamaican tour receives more backlash over £41k bill

Prince William and Princess Anne award honours in Investitures

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge embarked on the eight-day tour of the Caribbean in March, which toured Belize, Jamaica, and the Bahamas to drum up support for the monarchy in the Platinum Jubilee year. The tour was peppered with protests against the Royal Family and demanding an apology and reparations for Britain’s part in the slave trade.

Now campaigners are criticising the £41,000 price tag of the royal visit after a freedom of information request was submitted to the Jamaica Prime Minister’s office by the Advocates Network that revealed a financial breakdown of elements of the trip.

The extravagant state dinner attended by the royal couple, which lasted for a few hours, cost taxpayers an eye watering £20,000 ($JMD 4million).

A spokesperson from Advocates Network told The Independent: “The Advocates Network thinks that the government’s decision to prioritise the use of more than $JMD 8 million dollars of our hard-earned tax dollars on hosting the royal couple instead of addressing many of the urgent needs facing our country, is a display of gross insensitivity.”

However, the price for the royal visit is not generally thought to be so pricey for a state visit as Barack Obama’s visit in 2015 cost the taxpayers approximately £1.3 million ($JMD 270million).

In spite of this, at least 400,000 of the nation’s three million people are living below the breadline.

Retired Deputy Commissioner of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Novelette Grant said: “Our children are in desperate need of psycho-social assistance coming from a range of adverse experiences during the Covid pandemic.

“$JMD 8 million could have helped some of them to adjust and cope with mental health and behavioural challenges as they returned to school.”

Lawyer Kenyatta Powell took to Twitter to express her thoughts on the extravagant price tag: “When minimum wage is less than $JMD 500k a year, $JMD 8M is a lot of money to spend in a little over 48hrs on two of the most useless people on the planet.”

Campaigners have argued that the $JMD 8million could give 8,000 children school breakfasts for at least a month and provide flushing toilets and running water for rural schools which have thousands of students.

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Information Minister Robert Morgan advised ahead of the visit that the government would not be paying for the royal visit but would have a responsibility to pay for security. 

In March, Jamaica began the process of removing the Queen as head of state after a senior figure within government was hired to focus on overseeing the transition to republic status.

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