The royals are on the move! Prince William and Kate Middleton—also known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge—touched down in Belize on Saturday to begin a week-long tour that will also include stops in Jamaica and the Bahamas. This is the couple’s first joint trip overseas since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, though earlier this year, Kate traveled to Denmark and William went to the United Arab Emirates.
Their Caribbean tour is part of a number of trips and events being held this year in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, or 70th year on the throne, though not everyone sees this as a cause for celebration. People reports that on Sunday, William and Kate were forced to cancel a visit to a farm in Belize’s Maya Mountains after locals staged a protest. In addition to the growing negative sentiment about the legacy of colonialism—late last year, Barbados removed the Queen from her ceremonial role as monarch—People reports that the protestors in Belize are involved in a land dispute with a charity of which Prince William is a patron. Citing a report from The Independent, the outlet also notes that the Duke and Duchess are likely to encounter another protest when they arrive in Jamaica, this one arranged by a group called Advocates Network and calling for slavery reparations. Belize, Jamaica, and the Bahamas are all considered Commonwealth Realms, which means that although they are independent countries, Queen Elizabeth II is officially considered their monarch.
Instead of the planned farm visit in Belize, William and Kate toured the Che’il Mayan Cacao Farm and Chocolate Factory in Maya Center Village, where they ground cacao nibs. They also met with Belize’s Prime Minister and stopped in the village of Hopkins, where they learned about coral reef preservation. Their children, eight-year-old Prince George, six-year-old Princess Charlotte, and three-year-old Prince Louis, did not accompany their parents on the trip, but while sampling chocolate at the cacao farm, Kate reportedly remarked that the kids would be “very jealous.”
Jamaica is their next stop, and an official royal press release issued in February states that celebrating “the seminal legacy of Bob Marley and other ground-breaking Jamaican musicians alongside some of tomorrow’s stars” will be on the agenda. Follow along with their trip via the pictures below, and check back for updates.