Prince William, Kate try to boost UK bonds on Caribbean trip
LONDON (AP) — Prince William and Kate are embarking on a tour to Central America and the Caribbean, even as some countries in the region mull cutting ties to the British monarchy.
The couple will visit Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas on the week-long journey that starts Saturday. The trip, taken at the behest of William’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, is intended to strengthen the U.K.’s ties with Commonwealth countries as the queen marks 70 years on the throne.
But the trip suffered a hitch before the couple set out, when a planned visit to a cacao farm in the Central American nation of Belize was scrapped because of local opposition.
According to local reports, a protest was staged on Friday opposing the royal visit to Akte ’il Ha cacao farm in Indian Creek village in the foothills of the Maya Mountains. Belize news outlet Channel 7 reported that there is a dispute between village residents and Flora and Fauna International, a conservation charity William supports as patron.
The royal couple’s Kensington Palace office said that “due to sensitive issues involving the community in Indian Creek, the visit has been moved to a different location.” The government of Belize said “another venue has been selected to showcase Maya family entrepreneurship in the cacao industry.”
The couple, formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, also are due to visit Jamaica, where they are due to celebrate the legacy of Bob Marley and island’s rich musical and sporting heritage. They will end the trip in the Bahamas, where they'll compete in a sailing regatta in honor of the queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
William, 39, is second in line to the throne after his father, Prince Charles.
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