Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Caribbean tour: The royal couple are forced to cancel their first engagement after 'protests'

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have had to cancel the first engagement of their Caribbean tour

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Caribbean tour
(Image credit: Getty)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have had to scrap the first big engagement of their Caribbean tour after villagers in Belize staged a protest about 'colonialism'.

  • The Cambridges were due to begin their visit to Belize with a trip to a sustainable cocoa farm, but villagers in Indian Creek staged a protest, describing the visit as 'colonialism' and a 'slap in the face'
  • Kensington Palace announced on Friday night that the village visit was scrapped
  • This follows royal news that The Queen has had a wheelchair friendly lift installed at Balmoral

The protest was part of a long-running row over communal land rights, and locals were said to be particularly outraged that William and Kate's helicopter was given permission to land on their football field without consultation.

Kate and William leave the UK later today to fly to Belize and will receive an official welcome at the airport before meeting the prime minister. 

The trip is in celebration of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee and will begin tomorrow, when they had been due to travel to Indian Creek, home to fewer than 1,000 people.

The couple planned to visit the sustainable Akte'iL Ha cacao farm in the foothills of the Maya mountains. But the village of Indian Creek has been in open conflict with Flora and Fauna International, a charity which owns an adjoining, contested property and of which William has been a patron since 2020.

Villagers are involved in a fight against the state and FFI, which works to protect ecosystems worldwide, over the rights to lands lost in the colonial era. 

Sebastian Shol, chairman of Indian Creek village, said, "We don't want them to land on our land, that's the message that we want to send. They could land anywhere but not on our land."

The police refused to allow a protest during the planned visit because of security concerns, so villagers staged a demonstration yesterday, carrying banners reading 'Prince William leave our land' and 'Colonial legacy of theft continues with Prince and FFI'.

While here was no official statement from Kensington Palace, aides confirmed that the visit had now been scrapped and the couple would make alternative arrangements.

Robyn is a celebrity and entertainment journalist and editor with over eight years experience in the industry. As well as contributing regular to woman&home, she also often writes for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly and The Sun.