Prince William and Kate Middleton’s ‘tone deaf’ use of Queen’s Land Rover in Jamaica parade stirs controversy

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge rode the same Land Rover used by the Queen and Prince Philip during their 1953 trip to Jamaica

Will and Kate slammed for using Queen's Land Rover in Jamaica
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince William and Kate Middleton are under fire for riding the Queen's Land Rover in Jamaica, with many folks slamming the decision as 'tone deaf'. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton have completed the second leg of their Caribbean royal tour with a three-day stay in Jamaica, and have now moved on to their final destination of the Bahamas. 

The week-long trip in celebration of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee marks the couple's first joint overseas engagement since March 2020. It's understood that the tour, which kicked off with a visit to Belize, aims to strengthen the ties between the British monarchy and its Commonwealth nations in light of Barbados's recent transition to a republic. 

The last event of their stay in Jamaica saw the couple attend a commissioning parade for Caribbean officer cadets in Kingston on Wednesday. 

Prince William, decked out in the tropical No. 1 uniform of the Blues and Royals, diligently inspected the newly qualified troops before ascending the podium to deliver a speech. 

Kate then commenced the prize-giving ceremony of the parade, presenting the International Achievement Award and the Jamaica Military Commendation Medal for Excellence . 

The uplifting vibe of the event appears to have been overshadowed, however, by backlash from the public over the couple's questionable choice of transport. 

William and Kate have been strongly condemned for perpetuating 'colonial' ideals after deciding to ride in the same Land Rover used by the Queen and the late Duke of Edinburgh during their trip to Jamaica in 1953. In the images released, William and Kate can be seen standing in the open-top vehicle while waving to spectators as they are driven slowly though the military parade.  

Prince William and Kate Middle ride the Queen's Land Rover during a military parade in Jamaica 

(Image credit: Getty)

The photos look strikingly similar to those of Her Majesty and Prince Philip, who also posed on the pristine Land Rover while visiting the Commonwealth country nearly seventy years ago. 

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh rode the same Land Rover for their trip to Jamaica in 1953

(Image credit: Getty)

"These unfortunate images are a relic of the past and could have been taken in the 1800s," Professor Rosalea Hamilton, a civil rights campaigner and founding director of the Institute of Law and Economics in Jamaica, told the Mirror. "They signify this young generation is continuing the monarchical traditions of holding one race superior and another inferior." 

The optics also received heavy backlash online, with many Internet users slamming William and Kate for reinforcing colonial values with their 'tone-deaf' photo op. 

Kate and Will

(Image credit: Getty)

"Looks a bit colonial. Sigh," one unimpressed person wrote on Twitter. 

"Sometimes I wonder who is advising these two," another critic said. "Instead of doing things in a modern way, they copy a 95 year old woman. Shame on you both. Especially now where Jamaicans are furious and want to drop the queen as head of state." 

Prince William and Kate Middleton's visit to Jamaica was met by widespread protests from locals, with many demanding that the British monarchy atone for their acts of slavery in the island nation with reparations. The Duke acknowledged the issue during a dinner hosted by the country's Governor General on Wednesday, but stopped short at apologising for the Royal Family's role in the crimes. 

"I strongly agree with my father, the Prince of Wales, who said in Barbados last year that the appalling atrocity of slavery forever stains our history," William said.

"I want to express my profound sorrow. Slavery was abhorrent, and it should never have happened." 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.