After protests erupted in Belize’s indigenous region, Kate Middleton and Prince William were forced to cancel their first stop on their Caribbean tour.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were scheduled to visit a cacao farm on Sunday, but local villagers objected due to claims of “colonialism,” according to several reports. Following the protests, Middleton and William departed on an eight-day Caribbean tour, but a contingency plan was implemented, resulting in the royals visiting a different section of Belize.
Reuters reported that Kensington Palace confirmed the scheduling modification due to “sensitive issues” involving the Indian Creek community.
As per Us Weekly, local villagers were angry, according to the international news agency, when they claimed they were not consulted about the royals’ visit to a farm in the Maya community. The royal couple was also scheduled to land their helicopter on land that is the subject of a land ownership dispute, which enraged the local villagers.
According to Reuters, the Maya town is involved in a property dispute with Fauna & Flora International (FFI), a conservation organization whose patron is Prince William. Residents in the area were spotted holding signs that read, “Colonial legacy of theft continues with Prince & FFI.”
Another sign read, “Not your land, not your decision.”
A village youth leader told The Times of London, “We, the villages, consider that we have suffered the legacy of colonialism, and we are directly still being impacted by that.”
Middleton and William will also go to the Bahamas and Jamaica.