Countess Sophie and Prince Edward cancel part of the Caribbean tour at short notice

British Royalty
Bad omens: Countess Sophie and Prince Edward cancel part of their Caribbean trip

Prince Edward and Countess Sophie von Wessex are celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary this year

© Chris Jackson / Avalon / Picture Alliance

Countess Sophie is one of Queen Elizabeth II’s closest confidants. But she hasn’t been in the limelight like she is now for 20 years: she travels to the Caribbean with her husband Prince Edward.

The Caribbean tour of Prince Edward and Countess Sophie von Wessex begins today, Friday. The royal couple will visit St. Lucia, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda. When this trip was first announced, Grada was also on the agenda. However, as “Sky News” reports, citing Buckingham Palace, the visit has been canceled “in consultation with the government of Grenada and on the advice of the governor-general”. The palace did not want to issue any further explanations.

Even before the cancellation, there was a lot of talk about the tour, as Duchess Kate and Prince William, who traveled to another part of the Caribbean a month ago, faced many demands and isolated protests. The Duke of Cambridge said in a speech that he “deeply regretted” the slave trade in the past, but was accused of not apologizing. Duchess Kate shook hands with young royal fans on the edge of a sports field in Jamaica – through a fence.

The pictures went around the world and also made headlines about the lack of sensitivity on the part of Los Blancos. There was a direct confrontation with Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness. He welcomed the guests from England in his residence and explained in front of the cameras that Jamaica is developing and sees itself as independent. No doubt a nod to the next step in which the country might bid farewell to the Queen as leader. Protestants in Jamaica and the other Caribbean islands also demanded reparations from the Crown for treatment in earlier centuries.

Open letter to Prince Edward and Countess Sophie: “We are not simpletons”

Similar words can be read in an open letter from the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission ahead of the Wessex visit. It said: “It has become common for members of the Royal Family and British Government officials to come to this region and lament that slavery was a ‘horrendous atrocity’, that it was ‘abhorrent’, that ‘it should not have happened may’.” But these words contained no new facts. “We hear the false hypocrisy of those who came before you that these crimes are an ‘eyesore on their history’.” Instead, the people would have experienced genocide, international injustice and racism. “We hope that out of respect for us, they won’t repeat the mantra. We’re not simpletons.”

Since their wedding in 1999, Prince Edward and Countess Sophie have hardly been in the limelight as they are now. It remains to be seen how the couple will act as representatives of Queen Elizabeth II on their trip – and what they say.

Sources: Sky News, Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission, BBC

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