Jamaica wants to be independent, prime minister tells Prince William, Duchess Kate

·1 min read

Jamaica's prime minister this week told Great Britain's Prince William and his wife, Duchess Kate, that his country wants to be independent amid protests calling on the monarchy to pay reparations for slavery, Reuters reported.

Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the royal couple on Wednesday that his country is ready to move on as an "independent, fully developed, and prosperous" state, noting that prior issues haven't been resolved yet.

The royal couple recently arrived in Jamacia on Tuesday as part of a week-long tour visiting former British colonies, according to Reuters.

"There are issues here which as you would know are unresolved," Holness told the royal couple.

"But Jamaica is as you would see a country that is very proud ... and we're moving on. And we intend ... to fulfill our true ambition of being an independent, fully developed and prosperous country."

This comes as a dozen of demonstrators gathered around outside the British High Commission in Jamacia's capital in Kington, demanding the British government to repay for reparations.

Demonstrators were also outside of the building seen signing traditional Rastafarian songs and holding banners with the phrase "seh yuh sorry," a local phrase that urged the monarchy to apologize for past transgressions, Reuters reported.

During a speech at the governor general's residence, Prince William expressed his "profound sorrow" for the institution of slavery, adding that it should never have existed.

Jamaican officials recently said the government has conducted a study on the process of reforming its constitution to become a new republic, adding that it will ask the British government for compensation for the estimated 600,000 Africans who worked on the island, Reuters noted.