Following an eight day tour of Belize, that was marred by anti-royal protests, a humbled Prince William has told the Commonwealth “that the future is for the people to decide upon” and that he will respect whatever the people decide.
The surprise statement from Prince William comes as both Jamaica and Belize debate ditching the Queen as Head of State. The tour was part of an effort to reinforce the UK’s long-standing ties with the Commonwealth as Queen Elizabeth celebrates her Platinum Jubilee year, marking 70 years on the throne.
William said the recent royal tour had “brought into even sharper focus questions about the past and the future” amid growing royal sentiment.
“Foreign tours are an opportunity to reflect. You learn so much. What is on the minds of Prime Ministers. The hopes and ambitions of school children. The day-to-day challenges faced by families and communities,” he said.
“In Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas, that future is for the people to decide upon. But we have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with communities in all three countries, understanding more about the issues that matter most to them.”
William reaffirmed he and the Duchess of Cambridge are “committed to service.”
“For us that’s not telling people what to do. It is about serving and supporting them in whatever way they think best, by using the platform we are lucky to have,” he said.
“It is why tours such as this reaffirm our desire to serve the people of the Commonwealth and to listen to communities around the world. Who the Commonwealth chooses to lead its family in the future isn’t what is on my mind. What matters to us is the potential the Commonwealth family has to create a better future for the people who form it, and our commitment to serve and support as best we can.”
View this post on Instagram
Daily Mail Royal Editor Rebecca English said the statement from William is “unprecedented” and that the recent royal tour “has prompted conversation and debate.”
Unprecedented statement from the Duke of Cambridge regarding the Caribbean tour.
The trip has prompted conversation and debate. This acknowledges it and shows how he is reflecting on it. Interesting line on his future as head of the Commonwealth. Shows leadership ???? pic.twitter.com/nhKiwp5Bh9
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) March 26, 2022
William further addressed the growing calls for a Republic during the Governor-general’s gala dinner on Friday, March telling the crowd, “we support with pride and respect your decisions about your future.
“Relationships evolve. Friendship endures,” he said.