The Earl and Countess of Wessex will have their own Caribbean tour later this month. They’ll visit Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines from April 22 through April 28th. I do not imagine we’ll get wall-to-wall coverage of the Wessex tour, even if it goes horribly. Sophie and Edward simply are not important enough to make too much of an impact either way. Their tour will happen one full month after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s disastrous Flop Tour of Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas. William and Kate’s colonialist imagery was wildly inappropriate, and as such, Sophie and Edward are… um, studying what Will and Kate did wrong. So that those images won’t be repeated. From the Telegraph:
Trepidation: The Earl and Countess of Wessex might be forgiven for feeling slight trepidation over their forthcoming Caribbean tour. Of all the Commonwealth realms, these island nations have made the intention to sever ties with the British monarchy all too clear in recent months. As such, palace officials desperate to avoid further PR pitfalls have been carefully studying the Wessexes’ itinerary ahead of their tour later this month of Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Sophie & Edward won’t do 1950s throwbacks: Part of the criticism facing the Cambridges’ tour was that there was too much focus on emulating the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s hugely successful tours of their day. While the Wessexes will certainly want to ensure the focus remains on the Queen’s historic seven-decade reign, any potential plans to echo their movements in Grenada by greeting the crowds in an open top car, as Her Majesty and Prince Philip did on their first visit to the country in 1966, will have been quietly shelved.
Grenada’s royal insignia: Grenada might pose another challenge in the form of a campaign against the use of an “offensive” symbol in the royal insignia worn by governor-general Dame Cécile La Grenade. The New York-based Grenada 2050 Project has called on Dame Cécile to stop wearing the “racist” insignia of the Order of St Michael and St George, which depicts the white archangel St Michael trampling the neck of Satan, illustrated as a black man. “Undoubtedly, this insignia represents nothing more than the white supremacists’ belief that the white man is good and superior, and the black or dark-skinned man is bad and inferior,” they said. In 2020, Jamaica’s governor-general Sir Patrick Allen declared that he would no longer wear the symbol.
Does these countries have republican ambitions? While St Lucia has not been as vocal as other Caribbean nations on the issue of becoming a republic, former prime minister Dr Kenny Anthony has called on the government to make the move. In December, Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism minister, Charles “Max” Fernandez, said it was time to follow Barbados and become a republic “as soon as possible”. He added: “We have to get past the final chapter of a tie to a country that had our people in slavery.”
Flying under the radar: The Wessexes’ overseas tours have long tended to fly under the radar. But aides will be acutely aware that on this occasion, the eyes of the world will be upon them.
[From The Telegraph]
“The Wessexes’ overseas tours have long tended to fly under the radar” lol. I mean, I’ll be surprised if we get ANY photos from this magical mystery tour. It will be Sophie and Edward being boring and NOT cosplaying flags and NOT recoiling from Black people and NOT greeting people of color behind a chain link fence. But the absence of that kind of tone-deaf imagery won’t make this tour a “success.” I kind of wonder why Charles didn’t just take over all of the tours himself? It honestly feels like these countries might be offended by being sent Sophie and Edward, even if their only crime is being boring.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Instar.
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